What’s the difference between an architect and an architectural designer?

When choosing someone to design your building, it is essential that they have experience in similar projects and more importantly that they carry Professional Indemnity Insurance. Qualifications, experience and expertise will vary from person to person, so individuals should be considered on their own merit, however it can still be confusing to know who you need for the job.

I often get asked what the difference is so here’s the low down:

ARCHITECT – An architect in the UK, is someone who is registered on the Architects Registration Board (ARB).

CHARTERED ARCHITECT – An architect in the UK, is someone who is registered on the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and also a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGNER – An architectural designer is someone who can supply the same  architectural services as an Architect, most likely will have architectural qualifications but is not a Registered Architect.

The key to a successful project is good research and planning so, here are a few things to consider when appointing any architectural design professional.

  1. Do they hold professional qualifications that can demonstrate their competence to deliver your project?
  2. Do they hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to protect you from errors in their work?
  3. Can they offer examples of similar works they have carried out?
  4. Can they offer good testimonials from happy past clients?
  5. Can they give examples of recent planning consents?
  6. Can they demonstrate designs that show innovation and aesthetic flair as well as practical solutions to spacial and structural problems.
  7. Can they offer guidance with building contractors and project management?
  8. Do they offer a clear payment structure to allow you to budget adequately for your project?


Whether you choose an Architect or an Architectural Designer the services they supply should be the same, these can be any or all of the following:

Local Authority Approvals – including planning and regulation drawings

Detailed Construction Drawings

Home Surveys

Interior and Exterior Design

Feasibility Studies for New Builds and Refurbishments

Project Management


I am not an Architect, I am an Architectural Designer with a degree in Architecture and over 16 years of experience running my own Architectural Design Business.

I would love to chat to you about your design aspirations so if you are thinking of starting a project please get in touch with me at adam@adamfaheydesign.co.uk

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The safety of our clients is our number one priority which is why for the last few weeks we have been conducting the majority of our business via virtual consultations.

We are ready online now to chat through any requirements you have regarding the redesign or refurbishment of your property so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.



As the building industry is issued with further information about reopening we will endeavour to keep you informed.  Any visits to your home will be carried out within the guidelines set out by the Government.

Whether you are looking for some design advice or a full redevelopment scheme, we remain here to support in any way we can.

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