How to Choose an Architect
By: Architectural Visions
Hiring an architect for your home construction projects is an investment but will pay off significantly when the project is complete. An architect will help you solve space planning issues, ensure your home is up to code, offer a wealth of creativity, among other benefits. This guide will provide the insight you need if you’re looking to hire an architect.
- Determining if you need an architect is the first decision to make as you embark on your construction project.
- You will work closely with your architect, so it’s important to trust their professional expertise and feel comfortable with it.
- Architects are trained in understanding building codes, design principles, structural stability, and much more. They should be licensed, and you can verify this license by checking with your state’s architectural board.
- One of an architect’s main goals is to create a sound structure that will last long-term. This will help prevent costly long-term mistakes.
How to determine if you need an architect
Determining if you need an architect is the first decision to make as you embark on your construction project. Here are a few reasons why you may need an architect:
You have existing space planning issues
Suppose you’re looking to add a bathroom with no identifiable space, or you’re looking to reconfigure oddly shaped rooms and have no idea where to start. In that case, an architect can help solve tricky space planning issues, bringing creative ideas for your home and budget.
You’re looking to maximize your existing space
You may have enough square footage for your lifestyle, but it’s not maximized to its full potential. An architect can help rescue space that’s not being used, making your home feel larger.
You’re not comfortable with construction decisions
Any remodel, or new construction process is highly detailed and costly. Many decisions need to be made, and if you’re not comfortable making these decisions on your own, an architect can help.
You have a historic home, or you’re changing home styles entirely
If you’re looking to change the style of your home entirely, or you’re updating a historical home, bringing in an architect is a critical element to this significant type of construction project.
How to choose an architect for home building
An architect is one of the members of your construction team with whom you’ll be working closely and for an extended period. It’s important to trust their professional expertise and feel comfortable personally. Asking for referrals is the best starting point to find a recommended architect. This will help you understand how she or he works and how your project may unfold.
After you have several referrals, it’s time to interview several architects to find the best fit for your project. Ask to see their portfolios, as well as a list of references. Begin with an introductory phone call to explain the scope of your project. Both you and the architect can determine if it’s a mutually good fit. You may then have an in-person meeting to discuss your ideas, budget, and timeline. Bringing as many supporting details, such as your plans and inspirational images, will help maximize the meeting’s productivity.
Being prepared with questions is one of the best ways to make sure you hire the best architect for your project. Some questions to ask include:
- What similar projects have you done? This will help you understand if the architect is comfortable with the size and complexity of your project.
- What is your process? This will help you understand how the project will unfold and prevent any unexpected surprises.
- How much time will the design process take and construction itself? Your timeline and your architect’s availability have to work well together to finish the project in a timely way.
- How are your fees structured? It’s essential to have a firm understanding of how your architect’s fees work, and when payment is due.
Architects are trained in understanding building codes, design principles, structural stability, and much more. Licensed architects need to have a Bachelor of Architecture, Master of Architecture, or Doctor of Architecture. These degrees should come from a program accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB). You can check if an architect is licensed by searching the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards by state and last name of the architect.
Hiring an architect means trusting their professional expertise and experience. While it’s important to communicate your project goals and desired results, it’s equally important to be open to their suggestions and past project experience.
The architect you hire should also have clear lines of communication. First, you need to establish if you’re working directly with one architect or if you will be working with a larger team. Having a detailed timeline and understanding regular updates are essential before you sign the contract.
Long-term benefits of an architect
One of an architect’s main goals is to create a sound structure that will last long-term. An architect should help you make decisions that will result in a classic home that is not filled with the latest trends. You should be able to enjoy your new project presently, but it should also be a project that adds long-term value and results in a structurally sound home. By trying to save money upfront by not hiring an architect, you may make costly mistakes that you will pay more for immediately and in the future.
AVI Windows & Doors
When you’re ready to select the windows and doors for your new construction project, contact the experts at AVI for any exterior window and door-related questions. AVI is your one-stop shop to browse, select, and install your exterior windows and doors with in-person and online service options. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or come by one of our Southeast locations and let us help you!