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7 important questions for your architect

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
A sit-down with architect Marco Braghiroli of Prestige Architects by Prestige Architects By Marco Braghiroli
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Prestige Architects Ltd., located in London, was founded by Italian architect Marco Braghiroli. Focused on high-end, bespoke boutique residential projects, this architectural firm is proud to have managed projects throughout the UK and abroad, creating some of the most eye-catching (and detailed) residential spaces.

With a keen eye for detail and a deep passion for design, Marco has been instrumental in the creation of numerous private London residencies and English country estates. In addition, the ever-growing portfolio of Prestige Architects Ltd. also presents various homes that were designed in Greece, Monte Carlo, Italy and the Caribbean. 

Today, we scope out a few of Prestige Architects Ltd.’s most striking projects while also tackling seven important questions anybody who’s planning on hiring a professional architect need to have in place…  

1. What are this project’s biggest challenges and attractions?

An architect’s past work and references don’t necessarily indicate how they’ll approach your project. During your first meeting, ask about their vision for your project:

• What stays the same and what can be improved?

• How will a renovation blend with the rest of the house?

• What will be the biggest challenges of this project?

These questions can also help determine if your personalities are compatible or not. 

2. What is your signature style?

A sit-down with architect Marco Braghiroli of Prestige Architects by Prestige Architects By Marco Braghiroli
Prestige Architects By Marco Braghiroli

A sit-down with architect Marco Braghiroli of Prestige Architects

Prestige Architects By Marco Braghiroli

Many architects are proud of their adaptability which allows them to tailor their style to match each individual project and client. Others, however, have a clear-cut style that they bring to every project (whether that be sleek modernism, a beach cottage vibe, or something else entirely). 

Talking about the architect’s particular signature style up front can help you decide whether they’re the correct professional for your project. 

3. Who will design my project?

There’s always the possibility that the person you’re meeting with isn’t the one responsible for the design, unless you’re working with a sole proprietor. This is nothing to stress about, as long there’s proper communication on who the actual designer of the project will be (and when you will get to meet them). 

As you will be communicating with the actual designer a lot more, be sure to get all their relevant information beforehand. 

4. What project management services do you provide?

In addition to designing blueprints, architects are also capable of:

• Managing the project

• Helping you pick a contractor

• Continuously checking the contractor’s work throughout the project

• Making design adjustments as the project progresses

• Reviewing invoices to check that payments never get ahead of the work

• Obtaining necessary lien waivers from contractors to ensure nobody makes a claim against your property at a later stage. 

5. How do you charge?

An architect will generally charge a percentage of the total project cost (anywhere from 5%-20%). This usually depends on the type of services they provide, the intricacy of the project, and their reputation / experience. Be sure to ask what percentage the architect will charge for your project, and when and how payments will be due.

An architect usually bills monthly, which starts as soon as they begin working on the project. But most up-front design work can happen before you add a contractor to the project and know the total project cost.

In the interim, the architect may bill by the hour or charge a retainer (a fixed monthly fee). Any vital adjustments will then occur once the real figures are known. Although each billing approach can work out well, it’s imperative that all parties agree on it so that the project and payments can proceed smoothly. 

6. Are you able to design 3D drawings?

Even though one can tell the location of the walls, windows and doors on a standard two-dimensional plan, it doesn’t always present an accurate feel for what the design will look like once completed. 

The majority of architects work with 3D design software these days, yet it’s worth asking yours what software they use to render 3D imagery. 

7. What general contractors can you recommend?

A good architect will be able to recommend at least two general contractors in your area to help speed up the designing / building of your project. This is a great advantage for you as the client, as it means less time searching for the right contractor. 

But it’s always a good idea to get multiple bids from potential contractors to see how they stack up in terms of cost, availability, etc. 

For an in-depth look at one of Prestige Architects Ltd.’s projects, feast your eyes on A classic Knightsbridge townhouse with a fresh new look

Any other questions you deem as important to ask an architect beforehand?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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