Whether you're ready to build that contemporary dream house or fresh office upgrade, hiring an architect is one of the most important design decisions you'll ever need to make. And with the average home renovation project costing $15,000, it's important to feel great about your investment.
Part of that confidence comes from knowing how to choose the best candidate for your needs. Before you commit to hiring an architect, there are a few basics to know before solidifying your decision. Budget, personality, design style, and experience are all important considerations along the way.
Continue reading for our helpful tips below!
Hiring an Architect: Five Basics
Before contacting any potential residential or commercial architects, make sure you've created a realistic budget beforehand. There's nothing worse than going into a project with unrealistic expectations and disappointment. Once you've established a budget, use the following five basics to help you decide.
1. Get Referrals
Do you love the elegant look of your neighbor's spacious new back porch or your office building's modern layout? If so, don't be afraid to ask for the name of the architectural firm responsible for the job.
Asking your inner circle of friends, family members, and even a few trusted colleagues for referrals instead of going blindly into the selection process is always a good idea, especially if they had a positive experience. But don't be afraid to ask about the bad ones too.
2. Read the Reviews
You can get a feel for a potential architect by reading online reviews. Not only will it benefit you to hear from other clients, but online reviews can provide unfiltered information - both good and bad.
Research shows that online reviews are a valuable asset for business referrals. In fact, 97 percent of consumers research a company online before they visit. The same research says consumers read seven online reviews before trusting a company.
3. Ask for Credentials
An architect can't practice their profession unless they have the proper credentials. To learn more, start by contacting your local American Institute of Architects (AIA) chapter for accredited firms in your area.
Another important professional aspect having an architecture degree from a NAAB-accredited program or Architectural Experience Program. A board certified architect will provide the best expertise for the job.
4. Preview the Firm's Work Beforehand
If you have a vision in mind, it's important to hire an architect whose style aligns with yours. That's why it's so important to look at their work beforehand. Visit their website, social media channels. Or ask them to provide referrals of past clients you can speak with.
5. Compare Both Experience and Quotes
You wouldn't buy the first car you test drive, right? You take your time searching until you find one that fits your needs. To ensure a smooth selection process, make sure to interview several architects for a broad range of experience and price.
In keeping with our original budget question, make sure you feel comfortable asking for a quote within your price range. Once you find a price that is on target, it's time to sign on the dotted line.
Ready to Hire the Perfect Architect for the Job?
When you're ready to talk about building that dream house or fantasy open office space, we're here to help you reach your design goals! With our complete service menu, we're sure you'll find something for each phase of the design process.
Reach out today, and let us know how we can help!