Tips for Hiring an Architect
Hiring an architect can be stressful if you’re not prepared for it adequately. The process can involve a lot of searching and comparing different offers, and you need to be prepared to have multiple interviews with potential candidates. It’s also important to be as timely as possible. Otherwise, you’re severely limiting your range of options.
1. Start your search early
Architects are busy. That goes double for good architects. It’s not uncommon to find the best ones in your area booked for months ahead. This makes it important to start your search as early as possible. If you leave it for the last moment, you’re going to be much more limited in terms of who you can hire.
And even if you’re able to find someone on short notice, they might charge you a lot more than the average rate in your region.
2. Ask for recommendations
If you’re not sure where to even begin your search, you should ask for recommendations from people you’ve already worked with. Maybe you’ve done a project with another architectural firm that’s unable to take on your current project? Or perhaps you can call your building contractors for advice?
Recommendations can go a long way in narrowing down your search to the best architects on the market. It can also help you get in touch with people who would otherwise be exclusive and difficult to hire.
3. Pay attention to the architect’s portfolio
Architecture is a combination of creative and technical skills. While the latter are more or less the same across the board (as long as you’re working with the best architects, that is), the same is not true for the former.
You’ll have to ensure that your architect shares your creative vision and can implement your project in a way that aligns with you. Take as much time as you need to review each candidate’s portfolio and filter out those with a working style that’s too different from what you’re looking for.
4. Take the time to talk to each candidate
Take enough time to discuss everything that concerns you about the project with each architect you’re considering. Treat this like a job interview – you need to make sure that you touch on all important points and don’t leave anything out.
Prepare a list of topics you’d like to discuss ahead of time. This will help you streamline those interviews and avoid missing any important points from one candidate to the next. And of course, if something comes up during an interview that you were not prepared for, note that down as well!
You can sometimes get interesting insights about your project during those conversations. Even if you don’t settle on that particular candidate in the end, you can still bring those points up in discussions with other architects.
5. Sort out pricing and related details in advance
Be very clear about your budget and your expectations with regard to pricing. Sort out any related issues well in advance and don’t leave anything hanging in the air. It can be awkward to resolve problems on that front if they arise at a later stage. It can also undermine the architect’s trust in you, and vice versa.
Every architect will have a different pricing structure, and you may have to sometimes adjust your offer to fit into that framework.Architects