Love Renovate - The difference between an architect and an architectural designer (2023)


Love Renovate - The difference between an architect and an architectural designer (1)



(Video) Difference between Architecture and Interior Design





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Starting to plan your renovation is exciting, but it can also be confusing knowing which design professional is the best person to help with your project.

Because design professionals work on everything from inspiring your design, to submitting your planning and building control applications, to project management and finding the best contractor, getting it right is so important.

(Video) Who do I hire first for a remodel? Architect, Designer or Builder?

We cover the different types of architecture professionals including Architects, Architectural Designers and Architectural Technologists so you know who is best suited for your renovation.

If you need help finding an architect or designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

Find an architect or designer

Love Renovate - The difference between an architect and an architectural designer (2)

Lateral extension with stylish Corten paneling from LondonCCASA Architects


An architect has 7 years of training (both university and practice) and the term 'architect' is legally protected, which means you must be registered with the Architects Registration Board (ARB) in order to legally practice as an architect to be able to designate.

Many ARB architects and practices are also Chartered Members of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

Architectural training covers everything from the design process and planning through to construction, enabling an architect to provide you with the complete end-to-end service for your renovation project.

Architects are extremely creative so can come up with some amazing ideas when you have a blank canvas and want your renovation project to be design guided. Likewise, an architect is suitable when you have a clear brief and ideas about the design, but need someone to guide you through the process.

A qualified architect is usually the most expensive option due to their extensive training and skills.

Architectural Technologist

An Architectural Technologist will be a member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT) and the education will focus more on the science behind the architecture, design and construction process.

The expertise of architectural technologists lies in bridging the gap between the creative design and the actual construction. That's not to say they won't be creative, and there are many who can help you with the design aspect of your renovation project.

If you are planning an extension, loft or garage conversion, or you have a clear design brief, an Architectural Technologist can do all the planning and project completion for you.

So what is the difference between an architect and an architectural technologist?

An Architect will have spent a great deal of time studying the design process through to construction, while the Architectural Technologist will have focused their training on the science and practical aspects of the construction process, although many will have a keen eye for design.

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If you have a clear idea of ​​what you want your extension or transformation to look like and your design brief is straightforward, an architectural technologist should be able to meet your needs. If you need inspiration for your project or want a real design makeover, an architect is the best place to go.

Because architect fees are generally higher and many work on projects of some value, they may not undertake anything like a simple loft conversion. Architectural technologist fees might be a little less, so this is great news if you already have a design job or are planning a simple project.

It is common for companies to use both; Once the architect completes the design and planning, he hands over the work to the architectural technologists to finalize the construction drawings and specification for the builders.

architectural designer

An architectural designer is a term used informally to cover anyone in the residential architecture industry. It can be used to describe architects and architectural technologists as well as those who are not qualified.

An architectural designer is not a term governed by a body. So make sure you do lots of background checks to ensure your architectural designer has the experience for your project.

They will want to see samples of their previous work, references from previous clients and visit their previous projects. You should also check what insurance they have.

There are many great design firms that are not qualified architects or architectural technologists but have a keen eye for design and are experienced in producing technical drawings for your renovation project. Just keep in mind that they may not be qualified and make sure you choose the right person for your project.

Who else could be involved in the planning process?

There are other professionals who may be involved in the overall process of planning your project.

Architectural Engineer

Working closely with architects and architectural technologists, the technician works to create technical information to support the project, as well as to prepare applications for regulatory bodies.

An architectural technician is more likely to work in a practice than on his own.

interior architect

There are many interior designers who can help you with your renovation project, with an emphasis on spatial flow, redesign and the look of the finished interior. They should be members of the British Institute of Interior Design.

structural engineer

A structural engineer creates the static calculations required by building regulations, which are also used by your client. In the case of structural changes, you need a building inspectorate approval and therefore consult a structural engineer.

Architects and architectural technologists either have a structural engineer in their company or someone they work with. However, if you are working on a simple and small project that does not require planning permission, you may want to work directly with the structural engineer.

(Video) The Difference Between Architecture And Interior Design

To learn more about structural engineers and your project, read our articleDo I need a structural engineer for my home renovation?

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The appraiser examines the overall condition of the building and also advises on questions such as the party wall law. If you're doing a major renovation in a run-down building, it pays to hire a surveyor right from the start to identify any issues you might otherwise overlook.

project manager

Most design professionals can do the project management role for you if you don't want to do it yourself.

Big projects often benefit from it, especially when you don't have time to devote to your project.

You can also hire a project manager to do this for you. They are usually paid based on a percentage of your expenses and liaise with the builders and architects and help source products for you.

One last word....

Many organizations can cover the end-to-end process of your project, using different professionals at each stage. Based on your briefing, the estimated cost will be given based on the complexity and the person to be involved.

There is no law that requires you to work with an architect or architectural technologist on your renovation or to submit your building permit, but there are so many benefits including a smoother building application, no paperwork, and a better eye for design and structural details.

Always ensure that your architect or building technologist is a member of the relevant body and has adequate professional indemnity insurance.

If you need help finding an architect or designer, we can match you with the most suitable ones for your project.

Find an architect or designer

Published:24. November 2020


What is the difference between an architectural designer and an architect? ›

Whereas an architect is a licensed design professional, an architectural designer is not. An architectural designer is one step below an architect when it comes to expertise. Before an architect passes the ARE's and gets licensed, she is an architectural designer.

What is the difference between an architectural drafter and an architectural designer? ›

There is a big difference between these two words: design and draft. Design is the entire architectural process of giving life to the client's ideas through a holistic lens—including both art and science, while drafting is the process of drawing a design.

What is the difference between architecting and designing? ›

Architecture deal with essential things whereas Design dealings with detailed implementation. The architecture provides a high-level arrangement of components or modules. Whereas Design provides a detail arrangement within component how they communicate with each other, what design pattern used to solve this problem.

What is the difference between an architect and a residential designer? ›

Once licensed, an architect can design and oversee all types of construction projects – everything from schools to commercial high rises. A residential designer, on the other hand, strictly designs homes.

What is the meaning of architectural designer? ›

What is a Architectural Designer? An architectural designer designs buildings or landscapes, participating in the process from the idea phase to construction completion.

What is the job of an architectural designer? ›

An architectural designer is responsible for the design of a construction project. They use their knowledge of maths, science, construction and design to create designs that both look good and are efficient to build. They collaborate with clients to confirm the project requirements, budget and schedule.

What is the difference between an architect and a design engineer? ›

Architects design a structure by considering the customer's needs and requirements. Engineers design the structure according to the architect's design, including electrical drawings, structural layout and plumbing.

Can you say architectural designer? ›

The use of the terms architect and architecture are usually well governed by law, but depending on your location, the term “architectural designer” may be acceptable to describe someone with little to no architecture education.

What is the difference between architecture and architectural drafting? ›

An architect may be involved in a project from start to finish, helping out with anything from planning, design and documentation, to contract administration and project management. In contrast, a draftsman is someone who produces drawings for construction projects, whether it is a brand new build or a renovation.

Should I use a designer or an architect? ›

If you already have a structure built and are looking for interior design help, then in most cases you require the help of an interior designer. And if you need a home built from scratch, then we say hire the architect —and possibly the interior designer if you need help on the inside of the home.

Can you call yourself an architectural designer? ›

In the United States, it's illegal to call yourself an architect unless you have been licensed by a state—a process requiring a degree in architecture, years of apprenticeship, and a grueling multipart exam. Yet unlicensed “architects” doing the work of architects abound—they call themselves designers.

Can a building designer call themselves an architect? ›

Building designers are not the same as registered architects, but they do fulfil many of the same roles as an architect in the area of building design, with the main exception being that under the QBCC a licensed building designer is not able to do full project management including project administration.

Do architects build houses or just design? ›

An Architect has important input over the creation of a building's interior – they're responsible for designing the internal structure and circulation within the building, incorporating stairs and lifts, ergonomics, lighting and other practical design elements.


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