Follow this advice...
- Create a design brief
Before you speak to a designer, you need to work out your own priorities because they can’t tell you what you want - they'll just find smart ways to help you achieve it. Any good design will be an individual reaction to the site and the needs of its owners. Think about elements like rooms, use and space.
- Be clear about your total budget
There’s no point creating designs that won’t be affordable and you need to find out if the design can be constructed easily and economically. Whether you choose a designer, architectural consultant, draughtsman, or a design and build company, good design is worth paying for and investing the time and money in. Expect to allocate between five and 10% of your budget for design work.
- Find a few people to choose from
Ask if they will talk with you before you commission them and also ask for references from people they have worked for, on similar projects. Talk with their previous clients particularly to check that their designs were achieved to budget.
N.B. Your designer should take responsibility for having the plans approved with planning and building control and get you to a stage where you can start to speak with builders.