Architect Revealed
Feb 21, 2014 // Architecture //

An architect plans, designs and oversees the construction of buildings. The architect is a licensed professional who has knowledge of all aspects of building, from the design phase through completion. When building a structure there are special considerations that have to be done to ensure a proper job. Building permits, functionality, aesthetics and safety are all factors that need to be considered. Choosing the best architect for your job can be quite valuable in completing a project perfectly to specifications.

To put it in perspective, an architect’s fee on a theoretical multi-family building could potentially be six per cent of the total budget. At minimum, design of this building will take months and will include back and forth between the architect and clients. When the building is finally completed, a real estate agent will come in and charge a six percent fee to sell the units in this building. Ironically, the architect would never be in a position to afford the units they just designed.

Check local professional organizations in your community to gather a list of architects available. If possible, get referrals from other builders who’ve experience. Some architects specialize in a certain style of building which may help in determining which one to use. Check on the Internet and in the local telephone book to gather a list for consideration. Once the list is compiled, conduct a preliminary interview over the telephone to get some perception of how well they’ll work with you and your project.

Call each architect under consideration to describe your project and ensure they’ll be able to draw it. Some firms may be overloaded and can only effectively begin a new project with the focus needed. Request that they send you information related to the firm so you can have a feel for their experience and style. Find out how long they’ve been in business, the personnel available, education and resources they have. Get references and pictures of past projects. Seeing what they did in the past will allow you to determine how well they’ll work on your current project. You will now be able to reduce the list down to a few to interview personally after talking with each house.

Continuing The Conversation

Now that you have two or three possibilities, make an appointment to sit to discuss the specifics of your project. An architect is in conflict with the project from beginning to end and will remain in constant contact with you to ensure your vision is communicated correctly to all the necessary workers, so make sure you feel comfortable with the architect’s personality. Does the architect seem to understand your needs? Remember this is your project. The architect will make suggestions and help clarify issues you may have. However, ensure the architect is keeping to your overall concept. Is the architect excited about your project? An architect who is enthusiastic about the project will put more focus on it and you will have a better result. Discuss budget and payment options.

Making a final decision will be built on how comfortable you feel with each person. Choose the one with the right mix of expertise, enthusiasm, personality, and experience. A well chosen architect can save time and money and bring your concepts to fruition. Make sure you communicate through the process to provide the best possible outcome.

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