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Surveyor vs Architect – what are the key differences, and which one will save you the most money?

Updated: Feb 29

When undertaking a new build or large property renovations, involving the services of the professionals is crucial - it can save you from making costly mistakes and ensure all the work undertaken complies with the latest building regulations and planning laws.


But this means the fees can add up and increase your budget – so are there any savings you could make?

What is an Architect's primary role?

Architects are primarily concerned with the design, aesthetics, and functionality of the project. If you are looking for a “statement” design or a large planning to construct a large new building from scratch then taking on an Architect is probably how you would proceed.


What is the role of a Chartered Building Surveyor?

While Chartered Building Surveyors can ensure that the design adheres to legal and regulatory requirements, there are many that have years of professional experience and can offer far more.

If you have a vision for your renovation or extension project and don't require extensive design services, you can save money by avoiding the architectural fees. Most good Chartered Building Surveyors can work with you to draw out your plans to for legal compliance, tender and construction.


And a surveyor will also understand the technical aspects and can provide construction details which meet regulations but also work over the long term having been proven in the test of time.


A Chartered Building Surveyor with the DipBldgCons (RICS) qualification has also proved their expertise in working on historic buildings and the materials which are best used for buildings of that type.


The Surveyor can also accurately assess the existing condition of your property before design commences thus encompassing in the project those repairs which might otherwise only come to light later in the programme.


And we, like some other Surveyors can also provide detailed quantified Schedules of Work to accompany design drawings so contractors all price exactly the same scope, making true comparison of tenders possible and yielding, before awarding a contract to a builder, a cost which is much closer to the final cost than would otherwise be the case. Without such Schedules tender comparison is approximate at best and a guessing game at worst.

The overlap of roles

On larger projects you could save money by combining the services of the Architect and Chartered Building Surveyor with the Architect undertaking the design function and the Chartered Building Surveyor handling the cost control, production of contracts and advice on some aspects of detailing or materials.


Saving you money

It's important to note that the decision to use a Chartered Building Surveyor or an Architect for property renovations depends on the complexity of the project design and your specific needs.


In some cases, especially for large new build projects, hiring an Architect may help you to achieve your desired outcomes. However, for renovation projects that involve alterations or extensions, especially on historic buildings, a Chartered Building Surveyor's broad expertise may be a more cost-effective route to take.


It is always advisable to consult with professionals to determine the best approach for your renovation. If you would like some advice or guidance on your plans or ongoing renovations, then get in touch with SP Mitchell – we are always happy to help. Call us today : 07779 038 142.


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