One of the most important decisions after planning where to build your house is to choose an architect. Often seen as a bit scary, constructing your home involves many steps, and sometimes we get confused at it. That’s why hiring an architect helps enormously; even though it represents a significant amount of money that we work very hard to earn. Choosing an architect can accurately translate the vision for your dream home to the contractors who will build it later on. Architects help you realise your objectives and guide you through the design and construction process. If even after all these perceptions, you find it challenging to choose an architect, then here are some points that will help you.
- Find an architect online – Everything is on the internet now, from the florist to the drugstore; you can easily find an architect on the net. Don’t limit by searching nearby, if the architect offers online services or can come to visit you, then great! You can also look if the architects have online portfolios as these are the best ways in which you can judge their work.
- Ask for referrals – Talk to architects who want to collaborate with homeowners. Ask for recommendations online or from your relatives or friends. Check out online reviews about a particular architect. If you find nothing, then go directly to the source and ask for any reliable reference. One of the best ways is to contact an old client to get hold of how professional the architect is. Do not hesitate to ask delicate questions such as the specific timeline, the collaboration and how the clients felt when they saw the finished product. Evaluate the pros and cons before actually confirming with an architect. It is better to look for an architect with
- Choose an independent architect – Working with an independent architect is the advice and guidance that you will receive until the end. They are free to make their choices and they are readily available. Independent architects act as your advocate when dealing with other contractors.
- Check availability – Before thinking of hiring an architect, do check if he/she is available to help you out. The timeline and availability can change the field of potential designers. Find an architect who you know is ready for any turnaround or any quick build if they are scheduling you some weeks after your actual date, then better turn them down. Make sure to check the designer’s workload and completion time. You can plan for about six weeks for this process.
- Check out their personalised services – When hiring an architect, see if they offer personalised services or if they can tailor their services according to your needs.
- Consider the costs – Remember, architects need to be paid! There are some different ways in which architects charge: by the hour, a percentage of the value of work or the size of the house. If possible, ask for architects to offer you some free quotes that will help you in your planning. Always remember that the finished product will not be the same as you have seen before. That’s why it is crucial to choose a designer who can deliver sumptuous work at a price that you can afford. There is nothing wrong in being upfront with your designer as you would want your house to look like that of your dream. Better choose someone who is realistic with you and does not sell ideas that would later cost way too much.
- Choose any of their services – Different companies offer various services that match with that of their clients. Whether you are looking for residential services or commercial ones, look for an architect that can provide both. You can either choose from these that best fit your needs:
- Schematic design – It is a review of the client’s preferred images, analysis of spaces the client occupies. It also questions the client’s lifestyle needs and how the client welcomes the designer’s initial plan. There are drafts of rough floor plans and image drawings.
- Design development – This layout has the floor plan development, the detailing of the kitchen and bathrooms as well as it determines the exterior elevations. This service allows the client to select the building material and review the client’s goal to make sure that everything is on track.
- Construction documents – This is undertaken by the designer who will plan out the details and dimensions of the structure through drawings, also by selecting the lighting, appliances, hardware and accessories. There is also the final ‘yes’ from part of the client after a thorough check of all the finishes.
Finding a reliable architectural firm can be a tad bit difficult as some companies might just cost more than they charge. If you are looking for a trustworthy architecture firm, then get in touch with Ewers Architecture. Established in 1997, this firm is a hands-on and high-quality firm that specialises in the residential, commercial and civic projects. Rest assured, Ewers Architecture prefers to have a small client base so that they can cater to each clients’ needs in a more specific way.