There’s never been a better time for hiring an architect to renovate or re-design your home.
According to a Monograph survey, two out of every five American architecture firms are making the shift to residential work in 2021. Since it’s looking like homeowners will have the luxury to shop around, it’s crucial you know what to ask before hiring an architect.
Read on for a quick-read list of the top questions to have on hand at the design consultation.
What Relevant Experience Do You Have?
When it comes to what qualifications to look for when hiring an architecture firm, you'll need to do some digging.
Try to note:
How many projects they’ve completed
How many clients they have
Whether they have experience with your type of building
Any awards they’ve won for their work
The educational backgrounds of the staff
A local architecture firm will also be familiar with the necessary zoning and permit laws.
Suppose you’re building on a Hartford site. In that case, you’ll employ a locally-based company like Peaslee Architect, P.C. If you’ve bought a development property in rural Georgia, look for a firm in the nearest town.
What Does Your Fee Include?
Architects don’t just draw up blueprints. They can also manage everything from hiring a contractor to making design changes during the build.
When hiring an architecture firm, be sure to ask the architect what services they provide for the quoted fee. Some additional services may be included in the price, but more than likely, they’re bespoke, which means they’ll be costed as an add-on.
And don’t be afraid to state your budget clearly. A good architect can efficiently work around budget constraints, but only if they know the numbers in advance.
Will You Be Involved in the Project From Start to Finish?
Not all architects stay involved in a build once they’ve handed over their plans to the contractor. But one of the top tips for finding an architect is to look for one that will stick around. This is especially important if you have a large, expensive, or complicated home build.
Good architecture firms will ask questions, explain how they can incorporate your needs, and tell you where you might be able to cut costs.
Once you’ve established a company’s level of commitment to build, make sure you find out the lead architect’s or project manager’s contact details. They should be happy to field questions and concerns from you throughout the process.
How Long Will the Project Take?
If an architecture firm can’t give you a clear timeline on your building project, that should set the alarm bells ringing. It’s usually a sign that they lack experience.
Any architect worth their salt should be able to explain the timeline for drafting and finalizing designs. They should also have a basic understanding of how long it might take for materials sourcing, finding the right contractors, and completing your build.
Ultimately, it’s this sort of knowledge that will streamline the job, ensuring your budget stays as low as possible.
Hiring an Architect: It’s All in the Consultation
Clear communication is critical when it comes to hiring an architect. A good company should draw out of you the features, materials, and layouts you want in your next home in a consultation. And on your side, asking the questions above will help you understand how to find the right architecture firm.
To learn more about residential design, construction, and decoration, browse the other articles on our blog.