Architectural Design


Whether your are building an extension, designing a new home or are improving the energy efficiency of your house – architects have a broad skills palette and provide a wide range of services. You and your architect will identify the service to be provided in your agreement and their fee will depend on the scope of their appointment.

Design Service

  • You and your architect will identify the service to be provided in your agreement and their fee will depend on the scope of their appointment.

Applying for Planning Permission

  • Advising if your project requires planning permission and producing the relevant information for making an application to the local authority. You may also engage an architect to provide services in connection with planning appeals. Your architect may communicate on your behalf with planning authorities.

Administrating the Building Contract

  • Dealing on your behalf with the building contractor and administrating the project to ensure that it is delivered in accordance with the design and planning permission.

Coordinating other Consultants

  • Your project may require the input of specialist consultants such as a Structural Engineer or Quantity Surveyor, and your architect will coordinate their involvement.

Building Surveys

  • Conducting a full measured survey of an existing building, prepare a report and advise on the condition.

Interior Design

  • You may engage your architect to provide an interior design service, advising on loose furniture, artworks and finishes.

Specialist Skills

  • In addition to the services described above, an architect may take on an additional, specialised role that requires specific expertise.

Conservation skills

If the building you own is ‘historic’, a ‘Protected Structure’ or in an ‘Architectural Conservation Area’ you will need the advice of an architect with skills in conservation. Even if your building is not listed by the Planning Authority it can still be worthy of conservation and you will want to make sure that its character is not damaged in the process of any alterations or extensions you plan to carry out.

To meet the need for this kind of advice and help owners protect themselves and their property the RIAI developed an RIAI Conservation Accreditation System that recognises differing levels of conservation expertise. You can use the ARCH-SEARCH menu on this website to search for an Architect by ‘Conservation Grade’.

You can find out more about owning a Protected Structure here: What is a Protected Structure and what does it mean?

It is an offence for the owner of a Protected Structure to allow it to be endangered, or to carry out any works that could affect its character without planning permission, and the penalties are severe.


  • An architect may take on an additional project management role.