Are you planning to build a new home and finds it confusing from where to begin? For most people, the first important question before starting any new project is whether to talk to an architect first or directly to a contractor. Building a house is a complex job, so you need to hire the right person to have the process run smoothly.
Though some people entrust the whole design and construction process to a general contractor, this is usually a big mistake when constructing a new building. This is because constructing a building is a complicated job. Architects have the required set of skills, education, training, experience, and vision to guide you through the entire design and construction process.
Hiring an architect is highly recommended, but finding the right professional for your next project is equally important. Before hiring any professional, you need to understand that every architect has their own style, techniques, and strengths. Whether your project is large or small, the following tips will help you in finding the best architect for your project.
1. Seek out referrals
To find qualified professionals, you can begin your search by seeking out referrals. The competent architects are registered with the Architects Registration Board, and the board has a list of all affiliated architecture firms. You can get this list of licensed and registered architects and then check their websites. Apart from this, ask your friends, family, and acquaintances to recommend an experienced architect.
2. Determine your Budget
To avoid surprises in the future, it is necessary to discuss every financial issue in advance. For this, first, you need to determine your budget by calculating all the costs, such as the land cost, construction costs, fees of the architect, and permit costs. Usually, architects charge a fee based on a percentage of your budget, which can be hourly, fixed flat, or based on the final construction cost. At this stage, you need to check if there are any additional fees for travel, materials, 3-D models, and the amount you need to pay as a retainer or down payment.
3. Discuss the timeline
Next, you need to determine when you’d like the project to be completed. The architect should ensure the timely completion of your project without causing unnecessary delays. Though remodeling or building projects require a lot of time and you should expect some delays, but it must not be too much.
4. Check references & visit some past projects
To understand an architect’s design philosophy, check their previous work. A reliable, professional architect is always happy to provide details of their previous clients. You can speak to some of the past clients with a similar project to yours to ensure the architect’s work is satisfactory. In addition to this, you may visit a few of the projects that are similar to yours and judge the quality of the design and skill for yourself. Also, you can check the online reviews.
5. Browse their website
Whether you have a residential or commercial project, you need to hire an architect best suited for your particular project requirements. Therefore, you should check their portfolio for projects similar in size and scope to your own to ensure this. Some firms are known for their signature style, while others can provide a variety of looks and design options.
In addition to the above tips, you may ask various questions to your potential architect, like will you incorporate sustainable design and what type of industry certifications you hold. It is highly recommended to get everything in writing and understand all the terms of the agreement before you sign on the dotted line.