Choose your designer carefully.

I’d like to make it clear that we are not the only good architectural practice in Milton Keynes. However, we’re hearing some horrendous stories about some other so called professionals taking clients money, and then disappearing.

Clearly, this is awful and it reflects badly upon my profession. I would always suggest using someone who is a member of a professional body, because a professional body would insist that standards are maintained. The two main bodies within our field are The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, of which we belong, and the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Building Tectonics is also included on Milton Keynes Council’s Buy with Confidence Trading Standards approved scheme. Of course, there are unaffiliated individuals that are trustworthy, but you should be wary. Check that they have a digital footprint such as web site, a Facebook or Linked-in profile page, and how long they have been trading. Even though not many will have been trading for nearly 30 years like us, you would want them to have some history and have actually made some planning applications. You should also ask for details of their professional indemnity (this is not just third part insurance). If you wish to give a new company a go, and we all have to start somewhere, get their name, address and telephone number at least. Note that you will receive extra protection if you pay by credit card as this will allow you to claim should the company fail to deliver or suddenly go out of business.

I certainly don’t want to put anybody off, and I can see that the whole process could be daunting. Dealing with the architectural profession is bad enough, but then you have to deal with the builder! The builders we work with are honest and professional, and the worst you can say is they can be a bit disorganised and messy. Even so, if you bite the bullet and extend or alter your house to fulfill your dreams, in a few months you can join all of our other clients and look back and say that it was very worthwhile, I am sure.

Written by Tony Keller – Building Tectonics Ltd

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