Automated Home 2.0 – #05 Choosing Our Architect

Choosing an Architect

The original Automated Home was built in 1999. We were young and enthusiastic, but perhaps lacked some life experience which meant we didn’t get everything perfect with our design.

With a much better idea of how we live now and which spaces are most important to us, this time we are determined to improve.


While we’ve only been out of the Automated Home for a few weeks now, we’ve been working on our next project for a long time. We started to dream about another self build around 5 years ago and we fully committed to the scheme over 2 years ago.

One of our fundamentals for the new build is that it be a low energy home, but more on that in a future post. Once our ideas started to solidify, we looked around for architects who specialised in similar energy-efficient homes with previous designs in their portfolio that we liked. Then we set up meetings with our shortlist of 4 firms for an initial chat over some of our ideas.

With each practice, we talked over our low energy concept, our design goals and of course their fees. While they all seemed very capable, there was one firm where we instantly felt at home and we saw that the guys gelled with our vision.


That company is 2020 Architects. They are a young, vibrant, award-winning team and we retained their services back in early 2017 to produce the design for our new home.

2020 Architects

The practice is owned by partners, Gareth Boyd, Richard McKinney and our architect, Michael Howe. Michael was featured in the 2015 series of Grand Designs as he built his own home on the North Coast.

‘the most innovative, forward thinking, progressive architects in Northern Ireland’.

Kevin McCloud

For our second meeting, Michael visited us in our own home to talk about how we lived and what was import to us in the new house. In a future post we’ll look more at that design process and also report back on how we got on with our architect over the project.

Useful Links

In the meantime here are some useful links to help with choosing your own architect.  :

Remember to check out our Instagram to follow the project, read the rest of the Automated Home 2.0 blog posts and find the links to all the products we’ve used in our self-build.

Last update on 2022-07-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

4 Comments on "Automated Home 2.0 – #05 Choosing Our Architect"

  1. All I’ll say is getting a descent architect with mechanical drawings can be expensive but my goodness does it reduced a lot of stress, ambibuity and money in the long term. Now, if I could only invest a time machine and fix a lot of the mistakes we did 🙂

  2. @Gabi – they say you get a self build right on the third attempt! 🙂

  3. haha indeed. I have extensively looked at doing a self build, but Surrey is too expensive. A small extension is costing us best part of 150k, which is insane. Still want to do it, just unsure if I would do SIPS ! Looking forward to seeing how you get on 🙂

  4. Leonard Grant | October 10, 2019 at 12:19 pm |

    Thank you for this article because it’s really informative, I love reading your article and I hope that I will read some more about this stuff, it’s really informative and very entertaining. Thanks a lot and have a great day.

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