How to Find the Right Architect for You
Your building or renovating decision is an important one. Make sure that your choice of architect fits you as well as your style of home. Here are some tips to help you find just the right architect.
1. Begin your selection process as early as possible. An architect can help you clarify the goals of your project, thus saving much misdirected work. The architect can also so site studies, help you through the necessary planning and zoning approvals, survey existing facilities, help with project financing and budgets, even advise you on environmental considerations and documentation. All this before your design work begins.
2. Hire the architect first, then the contractor. This way your contractor will be an efficient member of a cohesive team, building the precise project you and your architect have designed. Competitive construction bidding, possible only with the aid of architectural drawings and specifications, assures you of getting the best price/value. In fact, the difference in price between competitive bids is often more than the entire architect’s fee. And, remember, the architect you hire does not necessarily need to be local. Most architects can and do work on distant projects with ease.
3. Find out which design firm created the buildings that you admire. There is no better way than choosing the architect who has designed your favorite homes. Most owners are happy to give you the name of their architect and discuss their project – especially if they are satisfied with the outcome.
4. Look at the architect’s work if possible, not just photographs. If you like the architect’s work, then it is a good bet that the architect will design something for you that you like. It is not necessary that the firm have designed a project exactly like your own. The architect is a creator; make the best use of your architect by allowing him/her to bring creativity to your ideas.
5. Base your decision on confidence. You may want to augment your instinct with how well you like the architect’s work and how much experience the firm has had. The relationship you are about to engage in should be one of professional and business competence. It is important that you have confidence in your decision. The architect/client relationship should be a comfortable fit for both of you. Then the project has the promise of being an enjoyable and exciting process.