What are the Benefits of Using a Local Architect Near Me?

If you’ve set your heart on self-building your dream home, you might have found yourself frantically searching for a “local architect near me”. It’s no secret that many self-builders prefer to work with local architects on their new self-build home. But is it the right choice for you? Read on to learn some of the benefits of using a local architect...

Broad local knowledge

One of the best benefits to using an architect near you is that they’re familiar with the terrain. Having worked in the area for a long time, they often have broader local knowledge, for example, about planning regulations and the council’s development policies.

It’s important to remember that planning regulations can vary between locations, so having a local architect who understands the ins and outs of your area’s regulations can make the process much quicker and smoother.

However, no matter where they come from, experienced architects won’t take long to get to grips with local regulations. So, ultimately, looking into their track record for attaining planning approval is the priority.

Accessible local meetings

Although you’ll mostly communicate with your architect over the phone, via email or even video calling, sometimes you will want to meet face-to-face. This could be because you need to explain something in more detail, perhaps even with an illustration or diagram. Working with architecture firms near you also means your architect will be able to conduct site visits more frequently to support and supervise the building team.

Being able to visit a local architect’s office can also be beneficial, as you can easily drop in to discuss an issue or bring in documents where required. This should never be a deal-breaker, however, as there are many ways to keep in close contact with an architect based further afield, not least because they will be happy to travel for meetings with valued clients.

Trusted local contacts

Local architects will also have a wide network of trusted local builders and tradespeople to work on your project. As they work with many local contractors on a regular basis, they’re best placed to recommend surveyors, builders and designers that suit your style and budget. Not only will this ensure you get the best possible deal, but it will save you plenty of time that would otherwise be wasted hunting for a reliable contractor.

Should I always hire a local architect?

Whilst there are clear benefits to working with a local architect near you, it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation. You should never compromise on quality and style for the sake of proximity. If you find an architecture firm that you can trust and that understands your vision, then don’t be put off by the longer distance. With video conferencing at hand, it’s easy to connect with amazing architects across the country. Remember – locality has its benefits, but it’s far from the only factor you should consider.

Choosing the right local architect for your project

Ultimately, the perfect architect for you will offer the right combination of quality, budget and style. Ask to see their portfolio to ensure their designs align with your vision. At CODA Bespoke, our award-winning, Sheffield-based team has over 40 years of combined experience creating beautiful self-build homes.

If you’d like to see some of the projects that we’ve worked on, take a look at our extensive portfolio. Have a question about our services or want to discuss a project? Get in touch with our friendly team today.

When developing your new-build home, you’ll need to show that your project conforms to building regulations. To do this, you’ll have to send technical drawings of your property for building control approval.

You can either be given approval by independent building control inspectors or by your local authority building control. So, which is the best option for you?

What is building control?

Your building needs to align with the current statutory building regulations. These building regulations are a set of requirements that ensure any new construction is safe for habitation. This can include regulations for foundations, drainage, ventilation, fire prevention, and many other issues. Building control ensures your self-build meets these criteria.

You’ll need to commission technical drawings of your planned property, showing that it meets all the requirements. Your architect will usually prepare this for you, but other contractors may also need to be involved, including structural engineers and drainage surveyors.

Then, you’ll submit your drawings, either to the local authority building control or to an approved inspector for building control.

Approved inspectors vs local authority building control

So, what’s the difference between an approved building inspector and the local authority building control. Though there are many similarities, they also differ in several key ways...

The process

An approved inspector is classed as private building control, and must be registered with the Construction Industry Council (CIC). CIC approved inspectors also need to have full insurance cover in place.

The approved inspector will need to submit an ‘initial notice’ to inform your local authority about your intention to develop a construction. At this point, they’ll be able to transfer the building control responsibilities over to your inspector.

As part of their work, CIC approved inspectors will scruitinse and approve your technical drawings along with any information from contractors, make visits to your project site, give advice to you and your building team, and provide a ‘final certificate’ as evidence that your project meets the building regulations.

When working with the local authority building control, the process will be much the same, except you’ll apply to them directly. They will then take care of the process, providing you with a ‘completion certificate’ upon approval.

Speed and quality

These are the key factors that most self-builders are concerned about. Unfortunately, with so many people looking to develop, you might find you’re stuck with a much lower standard from the local authorities. They’re often overstretched, meaning they spend less time on your project, which can often take months to be approved.

Meanwhile, approved building control inspectors are more likely to take care with your project – and have a far faster turnaround, often giving approval within a matter of days.


It’s a common misconception that the local authority is naturally less expensive. In many cases, independent building control inspectors charge around the same price, or even cheaper. Do your research and shop around before making your choice.

Develop your home with award-winning architects

At CODA Bespoke, we have over 40 years of collective experience creating luxury residences for our clients. As architects, we have the expertise to develop your dream self-build property – including help with the technical drawings for building control approval.

To learn more about what we do, check out our extensive portfolio of new-build homes, extensions and residential developments. Or, if you have any questions for us, get in touch with our helpful team.

© CODA Bespoke 70-71 Cornish Place, Cornish Street, Sheffield S6 3AF.