Should I Engage A Builder or An Architect First?

So, you’ve decided to build your dream custom home… But what do you do after that big decision has been made?
SX Constructions Blog Posts 2021

So, you’ve decided to build your dream custom home… But what do you do after that big decision has been made? One of the trickiest conundrums that homeowners face is whether to engage a builder or architect first. 

We often have potential clients asking about the best way to kick-start their dream project and who to engage first. While there isn’t really a right or wrong way to do this, if you want to get the most from your build, we suggest engaging both your architect and builder from the very beginning. This is the best way to ensure all parties are working collaboratively from the early stages of your project and will ensure your home is designed and built as efficiently as possible. 

Keep reading to learn how best to approach working with a builder and architect. 

Do your research 

It’s so important to do your research before engaging a builder or architect. This will ensure you find a trusted team who are well suited to your specific project. Many builders and architects will have a niche or specialty services that they are experts in, and it can often pay to find someone who has experience in the type of home you’re building – whether it be a luxury extension or new custom home. 

With most builders and architects now online, this expertise should be easily accessible via their website, social media channels and blogs. We recommend browsing their range of completed projects, reading testimonials and taking time to learn about their values and experience. 

It can also be worth reaching out to past clients to get a more in-depth, nuanced understanding of what the builder and architect are like to work with. Finding a builder or architect through word-of-mouth referral from friends, family or even neighbours can also be useful.

Get in early 

Are you looking to have a completed home by a specific date? Then it’s essential to get in early. At the moment, builders and architects are experiencing a massive boom in business, and this has resulted in longer-than-normal lead times. This could see builders and architects booked up for months, sometimes even years in advance. 

While once it was common for clients to hold a three-way tender between multiple builders and take their pick, nowadays it isn’t as simple or quick. Homeowners need to be prepared to wait a little longer than they might have expected at the start of a project. 

Builders and architects aren’t the only ones who are busy – so too are engineers, town planners and your local council, who will need to sign off on your building plans. This is not even mentioning suppliers and subcontractors, who are extremely busy right now, especially as supply chains are still interrupted due to Covid. Therefore, the design, planning and quotation processes are taking longer than normal. 

That’s not to say it’s not a great time to start planning your dream home – increasing land values and low interest rates have created great conditions for homeowners looking to take the plunge. But it’s certainly important to start planning early and to practise patience, especially if you want to work with the best possible design and build team for the job. 


Looking for an experienced builder who can turn your luxury custom home design into a reality? Get in touch with the team at SX Constructions today.


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