Choosing the Right Architect
If you are about to remodel or build a new home you have some important decisions to make. However, making these decisions doesn’t have to be complicated if you follow several simple steps. The most import one should be choosing right Architect! Why? Because, bottom line, your being happy with the new home of your dreams depends on how well the Architect understands what you want and communicates it to the Contractor via the architectural design and plans.
1) DO SOME PRELIMINARY RESEARCH - REVIEW WEBSITES
By reviewing the photos on various Architectural websites, you should be able to observe and determine a certain level of skill and experience as well as get ideas about what type of designs feel right for you. You certainly don’t want someone practicing on your project!
Of course you’ll want to trust the Architect on many levels and primarily with their level of integrity and Architectural experience. You’ll want to be sure you can trust what they say without question. Follow your instinct. If your gut is saying no, interview someone else.
3) INTERVIEW THE ARCHITECT
Be sure the architect seems interested in you and what you have to say during
the interview and see if you feel a connection with them.
ASK QUESTIONS LIKE:
• What kind of projects do you enjoy the most? The least?
• What is the most challenging part of the design project?
• What do you expect/require so that our communication meets both our needs?
• If we disagree how do we come to an agreement?
• How much do you oversee the project and the contractor?
• How reachable are you by phone?
• How does the quote procedure work?
• What are the step to creating the plans?
• What are your terms?
4) REFERENCES & TESTIMONIALS
Review the testimonials they have listed. Ask the Architect if you can have the names and phone numbers of at least three references prior to making your final selection and be sure to call those references and have your list of questions ready for them.
ASK THE REFERENCES QUESTIONS LIKE:
• Did you find the Architect easy to work with?
• Is he an honest person? Did he do what he said he was going to do? Was he on time?
• Did you trust his suggestions and decision making especially with changes.
• Did he understand what you wanted? What do you think his level of skill is?
• Was he able to communicate what you wanted to the Contractor?
• Did he oversee the Contractor's work and did they work well together?
• Did the job go smoothly in your opinion?
• Was the job completed on time and on budget?
• Was there anything about him you did not like?
• Would you use him again and/or recommend him to someone?
5) GET YOUR CONTRACT VIEWED BY AN ATTORNEY
While this is probably the wisest investment you can make when remodeling or building your new home,
it is often where homeowners try to cut corners or the most overlooked. Before you sign on the dotted line, be sure you understand all the legal language and terms and agree with them!