…a house is not a home until you love where you live…

How Do You Choose the Right Architect?

It’s time. The home you’ve always wanted to design is calling and now it’s just a matter of finding the person who can build it for you. Simple, right? Just do a little Googling, find someone with a snappy website and you’re done.

We’re kidding, of course, and anyone who has gone through the process knows that selecting someone to design the most important aspect of your life is no task to be taken lightly.

The client-architect relationship is very personal and sometimes tender. You’re sharing your hopes and visions with someone, telling them details of your life and your family. And, most importantly, you’re trusting them with your home, your temple, the structure that holds your greatest treasures.

You need someone who gets that. And gets you. Here’s how you find that special someone.

Experience and Track Record

First and foremost, your architect needs to know their stuff. They have to have a solid portfolio and you need to know that they can handle all the tough stuff like building negotiations, building regulations, permitting, and so on. Design is a top consideration, but don’t forget that an architecture firm is going to be handling much more than just the design.

Chemistry

Like any good relationship, there needs to be chemistry. You’re going to be spending a lot of time with your architect, so it’s important you get along and communicate well. Talk with your candidates on the phone, schedule an in-person meeting or even a coffee. It’s a bit like dating, except you’re investing in your greatest asset, so it’s OK to be picky.

Style and Aesthetic

Your architect’s style should be at the top of your list. This is actually where a lot of internet research comes in handy. You can view projects easily by visiting architect portfolios. If their style matches your aesthetic, then you have one big box checked off. But also keep in mind that some of the best architects change their style to meet that of their client’s. Because in the end – you’re not living in their home – but your own.

Q & A Time

When you sit down to interview an architect, consider all of the principles above, but there are also some important logistical questions. Here are some really important questions to ask your architect.

  • Who will you be seeing and communicating with throughout this whole process? The same person, an entire team, or will it change day to day?
  • What’s the process like to determine the program for your project?
  • How often will you have meetings and what will communication be like?
  • What is the design process?
  • How does the fee structure work?
  • How long do they estimate the entire process will take?
  • How busy and available is the architect?

Lots of questions, lots of considerations. It’s not going to be the quickest or easiest decision you will ever make, but it will one of the most important.

Are you having a tough time finding the right architect? Let us take you out for coffee and you can pick our brains. It’s on us.

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