Finding the right architect is very important to have your ideas translated into your dream building. Here are a few tips that you can utilize to ensure you find the right architect for your building project.
Ask for some recommendations
Start by checking with your friends, relative and colleagues, asking them to recommend any architects who have worked for them in the past. You can also ask your real estate agent to help you and suggest local architects who have good portfolios.
Take a drive around the neighborhood
Another option is to take a drive around the area where you live to see if there is any house under construction. If so, inquire about the architects working on houses that you particularly like. You can also visit your territorial building department to find some blueprints. The files will also have the names and addresses of the architects.
Interview several architects
It is recommended to shortlist at least three architects for interviews. If somebody has recommended you an architect, you should ask about his or her experience – whether the architect is easy to work with, whether the construction was completed in time and within budget and whether the architect is capable of handling pressure. When interviewing the architects, ask about their approach to work, their associates and previous building designs.
Discuss your ideas with the candidates
It’s better to discuss your ideas with the prospective architects and ask them how they will help you in constructing your dream home. Show sketches of your home, if you have made any. Notice how closely a candidate pays attention to your ideas and how he/she contributes to them.
Review previous designs and references
Inquire about the number of projects the prospective candidate has completed. Moreover, successful architects often have a portfolio and references from previous clients, seek these references and check up on them. Ask the previous clients about their experience with the architect and whether they are satisfied with their build.
Select the architect you feel most comfortable with
Once you have interviewed all the candidates and their past clients, select the one that you feel most comfortable with, both as a person as well as an architect. It is important that you get along with the candidate, because you will be explaining your ideas and he/she will be giving shape to them.
Most architects ask for hourly fees, but try to negotiate a flat fee for the entire project, since the former can lead to many legal disputes.
Involve your attorney
Make sure your attorney is present when signing the contract with the architect to hire his/her services. It’s better to discuss the contractual details with your lawyer a couple of days before finalizing the deal with the architect.