How to Hire an Architect

When you’re dealing with any sort of construction or remodeling project, there are aspects to the project that you are probably not equipped to handle and execute on your own. A lot of people attempt to do their projects themselves, whether commercial or residential, out of a desire to save themselves money. Unless you really know what you’re doing, though, you may be setting yourself up for a potential disaster. So, maybe you need an architect. How do you hire an architect?

Understand the role of an architect

An architect handles a variety of different roles during your renovation/construction. When you are meeting with architects during your decision making process, you should go over what they are offering and the roles that are willing to perform. Depending on your needs and the specific project, their role could include all or any of the following:

-Drafting the plans

-Advising on fixtures and finishes

-Creative direction

-Choosing and managing the contractor

-Managing the project

-Making sure the project stays on schedule and on budget

Do your research before signing a contract

You don’t want to go with the very first architect you meet with. Just like when you’re dating, looking for a wedding dress, or shopping for a house, you don’t go with the first one you find. You want to shop around, until you find the perfect architect for you and your project. If you have any friends who have had similar projects, ask them who their architect was and what their process and experience was. Before you select your architect and enter into a contract with them, make sure you know what you’re entering into and that you’ve found the right architect for your project!

Make sure you have similar expectations

Not every architect you meet with will be right for your project. The biggest reason for that, is expectations. You should go over the above list and ask your architect what they are willing to handle, and how they anticipate handling certain aspects of the job. What will they do if they anticipate an issue that may take you over budget? Will you be involved in the process of finding a contractor? At the same time, make sure your architect has clear expectations from you and your role throughout the project as well. In order to have a successful projects, your expectations for the project should be similar, to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience.

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