Choosing an architecture firm can feel daunting. With so many variables to consider, how can you feel confident choosing the right one for you and your project? We think it’s a good idea to start out with some guiding criteria to help with your decision-making process. So, we put together a quick list of important considerations and best practices before hiring any architect.
1. Create a Budget Beforehand.
Hiring any professional costs money. And hiring an architect is no exception. To avoid delays or confusion along the way, it’s a good idea to have your budgetary requirements set from the start. Discuss these with the architect and ask if they can work within those constraints.
It is also important to be clear about where you draw limits and how the project will be paid out. Keep realistic expectations about the time the project will take, as this can affect the budget.
2. Take Timeline into Consideration.
Architects need to have all the pieces in place before a project can start. Work likely won’t begin immediately. A timeline will have to be established initially. Lots of decisions will need to be made before your project can truly take off. Expect variations to this timeline to accommodate great work in the end.
3. Ask Around.
If an architecture firm is truly invested in your project, it’s likely that you’ll be working closely with that person for an extended period of time. Be sure to ask around and get recommendations before you hire. And ask for photos of past work. Understanding how the firm has worked for someone in the past can give you realistic expectations for your own project and working relationship.
4. What are Your Design Aspirations?
Looking at an architect’s portfolio and reference is great, but they don’t necessarily indicate how they’ll approach the specifics of your project. During initial interviews, ask about their vision for your project. The answers are important, but you’ll also want to use these early conversations to make sure you have a good rapport and that your personalities are compatible.
5. Pay Attention to the Details.
Architects are generally creative minds, but they must also be business oriented. So, it’s expected that contracts will be full of details and documentation. It’s important to get on board with the idea of strict documentation to protect both yourself and your architect before you decide to hire on. Once everything is in writing, both parties are more secure and feel safe to proceed with plans.
Depending on the job at hand, there can be a lot of details to work out before a project begins, so be patient and don’t rush it. A rushed job is rarely a successful job.
Once you’ve taken the time to consider all the facts, hiring on an architecture firm should be a smooth process. If you’ve found firm you’re comfortable with, who creates clear lines of communications and wants the best for you and your project, there’s no reason not to expect a beautiful end result.
If you haven’t found a firm yet, we’d love to discuss your project with you. Give us a call!