Hiring an architect may seem counterintuitive, especially when working on a budget. However, the right architect can save you money in many ways.
Look for precedent projects on Instagram and other online resources, or seek recommendations from people you trust. You also want to find an architect with a similar design sensibility.
Do Your Research
A good architect is a valuable addition to your team, but it is not an investment you want to make lightly. You will likely spend more on your architect than you would on a contractor, and the quality of their work will directly impact the success and cost of your project.
Doing your research is crucial. Look at architects’ websites and portfolios and ask friends and family for recommendations.
Look for an architect with experience in the type of home renovation you are planning. Consider their work style, and try to find examples similar to your vision for your house. Also, see if you can visit one of their projects and talk to the homeowners who worked with them.
Schedule an Interview
Some homeowners use architects for only part of their project, such as creating construction documents for contractors. Others like to work alongside their architect until the project is finished. Regardless of your approach, it’s worth interviewing a few architects before choosing one. Look at their portfolios and ask for references from other clients. Then, meet with them in person. This is your chance to get a feel for their style and personality, which will be necessary as the project progresses.
It would help if you also asked them how their design process works. For example, will they visit your home before starting the drawings? And will they provide 3D images, if necessary? The answers to these questions will help you find the perfect architect for your home renovation.
Ask for References
The best way to get a good feel for an architect is to ask for references. This will allow you to speak with previous clients about their experiences working with the architect and learn how they handled any challenges that may have come up during the project.
It’s also great to ask for a few references from similar projects. This will help you see whether or not they understand your vision and can bring it to life.
It would help if you also asked about how they present their ideas and drawings. For example, do they use software that allows you to view your project in 3-D? This can signify that they’re organized and easy to work with.
Look at Their Portfolio
The architects you work with will significantly impact the quality of your project. You want to ensure that you get along with them and that their design style fits your own.
You can see whether an architect is the right fit by looking at their portfolio. It suggests looking for a website highlighting designs they’ve won awards for and publications they’ve been featured in.
Also, check their specialisms. They can even help determine if the architect is experienced in dealing with your building’s issues, such as zoning laws or landmarked buildings.
Look at Their Fees
Whether you want to add a new bedroom, convert an attic, or expand your kitchen, the right architect can help you solve problems and create functional spaces that suit your needs. But, it’s essential to research and vet potential architects before you hire one carefully.
Architects’ fees vary. Many are flat fees for planning and design, while others charge by the hour. Be sure to ask about the scope of your project and the architect’s fee structure, so there are no surprises down the line.
Also, be sure to ask your architect if they’re willing to work with you through the entire construction process or if they will hand off the design and build to another person once the plans are completed. Typically, architects will be available for consultation and construction administration services.