Hiring an Architect? Here’s What You Need to Know

When it comes to deciding whether to hire an architect for your next project, consider the following things to need to know before hiring an architect.

Consider the Timeline

Architects have to start somewhere, which means they need time to piece everything together before they get started. Having a timeline will initially be established – which you may or may not like.

Additionally, it is important to consider issues such as acquiring building rights. Various factors can take a toll on the timeline of your project and it requires a lot of time planning.

Prepare Budget Beforehand

Hiring a professional architect requires a healthy budget. To help avoid delays, be sure to have your budget set from the start. Discuss these factors with the architect and ask if they are able to work within those constraints. Be specific about where you draw limits and how the project will be paid. Remember to keep realistic expectations as this can affect the budget and timeline.

Understand that it May Require a Team

Depending on the project, your architect may need more hands and even minds to help complete the project. This means hiring more another architect or even an entire architecture firm. It is best to research all members involved and ensure that they meet your criteria.

Establish Communication

Before you sign the contract, be sure to establish a clear focus of communication as this is the key to a successful project. Create a regular schedule for updates to ensure that the project stays on track and reduce the tension before you and the architect.

Attention to Details

Architects are the creative minds of the project but also focused on business as well. It is important to provide documentation to protect the interests of you and your architect before you get started on the project.

Have you hired an architect recently? What was your experience?

Infographic by: www.vanguardstudio.com
Infographic by: www.vanguardstudio.com

What to Ask an Architect: 6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring

Choosing an architect is a decision that shouldn’t be taken lightly. The person or firms you select will the brains of the entire project – meaning they must solve design problems, communicate constantly, and keep an eye on your budget.

So what to you ask an architect before you hire them? Here are six questions to ask before hiring.

1. What are the major challenges of an Architect? What is your signature style?

Many Architects are able to provide beautiful portfolios and great references. But this doesn’t ensure how they will approach your design. Here are a few questions to ask for your project:

  • What works and what is needed to be improved?
  • Will the remodel blend with the rest of the home?
  • Are there any challenges to be expected?

Ask these questions early on to avoid conflict and ensure that your personalities are compatible.

2. What services do you provide?

Professional Architects offer more than blueprints and design. Most firms offer the following:

  • Project management
  • Contractor referral
  • Handle documents from contractors
  • Adjustments in design

Ask your architect what services they provide and the costs. Services like revisions and site inspections should be included in the contract.

3. What percentage will you charge?

Architects charge a usual percentage of the total cost. This can be anywhere from 5-20%, depending on the provided services, job, and reputation of the architect. Architects tend to bill monthly as the payment starts as soon as they start.

Most billing options can work well, depending on the client. The important factor is how you can manage your budget.

4. Will you recommend preferred general contractors?

Established architects have worked with many contractors during their experience. They should be able to provide reliable general contractors and help you evaluate bids and portfolios.

Knowing what to ask will help guide you in your decisions of hiring an architect. It is a great idea to search for multiple bids to help give you some idea of what you’re looking for in your ultimate pick.