It is hard to beat building a new home in terms of excitement. The same goes for remodeling your old home so that it changes before your eyes and turns into something new and all your own.
The person that will have the greatest impact on the outcome and success of your project is almost always the architect. Their planning will generally dictate the outcome of your home including appearance, function, cost, and the length of time the project takes to complete.
Because working with an architect is very personal, it is essential you choose one that you are comfortable with. It is equally important to choose one with a solid reputation so that you can be completely confident the end product will be what you envisioned and within your budget.
Below are five of the best tips that will help you with hiring a great architect.
The best architects will have the best references. Start by seeking referrals from friends, family, and coworkers that have used an architect before. Noticed a house being built in the area that you particularly admire? It doesn’t hurt to knock on the door and ask who they used to draw up plans.
If you have had good experience with other contractors in the past, then call them up and ask if there is an architect they recommend. Contractors from all different fields generally have great advice in this area. Better yet, this might help you find a contractor and architect that work well together so your final project comes together more smoothly.
3. Credentials and Reviews
A good architect will have both strong credentials and strong reviews. Start by checking with professional organizations such as the American Institute of Architects (AIA). You can then move on to websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
You can learn a lot from an architect’s website. Most of those that are reputable and reliable have them these days. A great place to start is their bio to find out what their design philosophy is and what is important to them in their practice. Many architect websites also have a section reserved as a portfolio with pictures of plans and completed homes.
After you have found an architect that seems like a good fit, it is time to interview them in person. Schedule the interview in advance and come into it with a handful of prepared questions to ask. A few of the best include:
- Can I see some examples of your work?
- What are some of the obstacles on a project like mine?
- How do you charge?
- How long will the entire project take including design, obtaining permits, and construction?
- Do you have referrals for contractors you like working with?
It is also necessary to have something of an idea of what you want your finished project to look like. And remember that it is okay to use your intuition. Even if an architect answers your questions perfectly, you can still select a different one if you get a bad vibe from them.
Hiring an Architect
The road to hiring an architect will be different for everyone. Keep the tips above in mind and you are sure to find one that is great. Before you know it, your project will be complete!