Architectural Designer vs Architect – What’s the difference?


When looking to redesign your home it may be worthwhile thinking about hiring a design professional, who can help you through the process and find the best solution for your needs. Afterall, who has time to study pages and pages of building regulations, figure out consent and party wall issues? Architect Chester, do just that, allowing you to sit back, relax and let the hard work be done for you.

When choosing the perfect person to redesign your home it’s worth noting that an Architectural Designer isn’t the same as an Architect.


To call yourself an architect in the UK you must be registered with the Architect’s Registration Board, who are in force to protect public interests. If an architect is registered this means that they have to abide by the professional code of conduct set out by the registration board. Some architects also choose to subscribe each year to be a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

In general, it takes around 7 years to fully qualify as an architect Chester, with a range of different exams and training including theoretical and practical. Having this sort of experience under their belt you have added peace of mind knowing that you project is in safe hands.

Before starting on your project, it is good to note whether your architect has adequate insurance. Although this is stipulated in the terms of becoming a member of the Architect’s Registration Board, it is worthwhile to double check they have this before they start work.

Architects offer a full range of services from conceptual design, detailed construction drawings and specifications. They are also able to administer the contract between you and your builder throughout the construction process.

Architectural Designers

Architectural Designers is a broad term which covers all of the above, but it is essentially unprotected by a regulatory body. Therefore, architectural designers may have the relevant qualifications above but not registered or in some cases, have no qualification at all.

Of course, qualifications, experience and expertise varies from person to person, so make sure you have a few questions ready before jumping right in and choosing an architectural designer. Here are a few to get you started.

  •         Do they hold any professional qualifications that can back up their competence of delivering your project?
  •         Are they registered by any regulatory body, i.e. Architect’s Registration Board or the Royal Institute of British Architects?
  •         Do they have relevant and adequate insurance that will protect you in the event there is an error in any of their work (Professional Indemnity Insurance)?
  •         Have they carried out similar projects before? Ask to see examples and get references from past clients.

It is good to note that if the architectural designer you wish to appoint doesn’t have insurance that any drawings or specifications shouldn’t be used in construction. If they are, the design liability could be passed on to your builder, which if there is an error could be very costly.

The key to a successful project is research and planning. It’s good to get wise and find out as much information as possible before going ahead and choosing a design professional.