Questions RE: Architects

Hi,
I need to employ an architect to draw up plans for conversion of a four storey house into three or four flats.
My partner in this venture is a an experienced builder and we are hoping to find someone who will do the plans, then leave us to get on with it, thereby hopefully avoiding paying upto 10% of the build cost to an architect which I understand is the going rate. Is this type of service available and if so what are the cost savings, if any?
Alternatively would we be very unwise not to have an architect holding our hand every step of the way?
Your thought's, feeling's and experiences would be very appreciated.
P.S We are based in North Kent, perhaps someone can recommend a good architect.
Chris
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BigWallop wrote:

This is a good argument for using someone with professional knowledge but an architect may not be the most appropriate person - especially if there's no real architectural input required, just setting out on paper the work to be done in a manner that will satisfy building control.
When I was a BCO some of the best people at doing this sort of work were not qualified to call themselves architects and so traded as Architectural Consultants or Architectural Technicians (it is a criminal offence to style yourself as an Architect if you are not registered as such) and many Building Surveyors would do this sort of work too - what you need is a sound knowledge of building, regs requirements and an ability to draw comprehensible plans. If you are churning out several sets of plans a week for (typically) 4% of the cost of the works you probably get to have a better understanding of the regs than the person working on many fewer jobs for higher fees.
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On 28 Jul 2003 05:50:58 -0700, chris snipped-for-privacy@btopenworld.com (ChrisD) wrote:

Have a look at "The RIBA Plan of Work Stages 1999" on http://www.riba.org/go/RIBA/Member/Practice_306.html These work stages should be recognised by any architects you talk to. It is probably stage E or F you are thinking about stopping at. Unfortunately, RIBA seem to have withdrawn their client's guidance booklet that should give indications of fees for the different stages, with a new version due out in the autumn. Architects you talk to may have copy though.
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John

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