3 Experts Tips from Someone With Experience

How to Choose an Architect The client-architect relationship is rather delicate, involving meetings about your habits and hobbies, your preferences, and even your most private relationships. That’s why you want the choice to be right the first time. The pointers that follow will help you understand the personality, design philosophy and communication skills of your prospects. At the end of the day, you want to find the architect who’s just right for your budget, your situation and your preferences. Referrals Like most other professionals, architects get good portion of their business from the grapevine. Ask friends, relatives and coworkers for referrals. But don’t think you have to limit yourself within your community. In this generation of email and Skype, architects are known to work remotely on a project.
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An architect’s profile or website must be rich with information on their past work and give you a vibe for what they hold important in their design practice. Sustainability? Blending into the neighborhood? Getting noticed? Ask other professionals in a related field. For instance, general contractors and interior designers can be great sources of referrals. A contractor and an architect who work well as a team is probably the most crucial ingredient of a successful project. The American Institute of Architects The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and other organizations also make good sources of prospects. Architects vs. Designers As you look for design help, you may encounter people who refer to themselves as architects or designers. Here’s the difference. Licensed architects hold a degree from an accredited college or university, have done thousands of intern hours under a licensed professional, and have taken a series of eight rigorous exams with flying colors. Designers, on the other hand, have experience consisting of a drafting class at a city college — or they can actually hold a master’s in architecture from Harvard and have 40 years of experience as a principal at one of the most prominent architectural firms in the country, but just didn’t get their license. Initial Consultation As soon as you’ve found a good prospect or two, interview them. This first meeting must cost you nothing, or go find another candidate. Ask as many questions as you think you need to. Do you have work samples I can see? What is your approach to my project? How much do I pay you and how? How long will the project take, including design, building permits and construction? There are more questions to ask obviously, but the above can get you started on the right foot. Budget No matter how much you plan to spend, be upfront from the get go. A great architect will be able to come up with a great design that matches your buck. Lastly, a great architect may be more expensive than your average one, but certainly, he’ll be worth it.