Choosing the Right Architect
The client-architect relationship is rather private, involving talks of your hobbies, your habits, your tastes, and even your most intimate relationships. Hence, you want your choice to be right the first time. The tips that follow will help you check the personality, design principles and communication skills of your prospects. At the end of the day, you want to find the architect who’s just right for your budget, your situation and your preferences.
Just like other professionals, architects get a good chunk of their business through the grapevine. Ask friends, relatives and coworkers for referrals. But don’t think you have to limit yourself within your community. In this information technology era, an architect can easily work remotely.
Learning The Secrets About Architects
8 Lessons Learned: Architecture
An architect’s profile or website must provide complete information on their previous projects, as well as give you a vibe for the principles that govern their design practice. Sustainability? Blending into the neighborhood? Getting noticed? Ask other professionals in a related field. General contractors and interior designers, for example, can be good resources for finding the a good architect. A contractor and an architect who work perfectly together is probably the most critical requirement of a successful project.
The American Institute of Architects
Professional organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA) are a reliable source of names as well.
Architects vs. Designers
As you look for design help, you may encounter people who refer to themselves as architects or designers. Of course, there’s a difference. Licensed architects usually have a degree from an accredited college or university, have done a few thousand intern hours under the supervision of a licensed professional, and have passed eight challenging exams.
Designers are those whose experience may include a drafting class at a city college — or they might actually hold a master’s in architecture from Harvard and have more than three decades 35 years of experience as a principal at a high-profile architectural firm, except they didn’t get their license for whatever reason.
The moment you’ve found one good prospect or two, it’s time to interview them. The initial consultation must cost you nothing, or find another prospect. Ask as many questions as you think you need to.
Can I take a look at some examples of your work? How do you intend to approach my project? How much must I pay you and how? How long to completion are we looking at, from design to building permits to construction? Obviously, there are more questions than that, but the above should start you off on the right foot.
Regardless of your budget size, be upfront from the very beginning. A great architect can always create something great for your buck. Lastly, a great architect may be more expensive than your average one, but certainly, he’ll be worth it.