Have you decided to build your new home or workplace? Are you planning to hire an architect to help you with designing a blueprint for your project? If yes, you should consider a few things while interviewing an architect.
1) Talking Chemistry - Whenever you are doing something big or important, you always make sure that everything goes smoothly as per the plans. Similarly, whenever you decide to build your dream home or creative workspace, you always want it to be the best. For this, you inquire and interview a lot of people. This communication has to be one-to-one. This will help you to judge the architect you are going to work with. You should not only feel confident but comfortable as well while talking with the architect.Your architect must be friendly and easy to work with as building is a long-term process. So, ensure that the talking chemistry between both of you is awesome.
Make a list of questions before you meet the architect. These sets of questions can be the same for all the short-listed architects.
How many years have you been in the industry?
How busy your is your firm?
Do you have the capacity to work on your project?
Who will be handling the job?
How interested are you in taking this job?
Do you just design the blueprint or can you take the entire project until completion?
What would be your fees?
How much budget do you expect for this project?
Ask if they can provide some good references. Such references are always invaluable.
During the discussion, if you don't understand something; ask for clarification. If the architect doesn't explain the thing properly or you feel intimidated, he/she may not be the right person to work with.
Unlike any appliance or product, in building projects, you cannot see the final product and test it. So, an architect can just provide you his/her professional services and not a product. At such times, it becomes even more important for you to choose the right person for the job. Architect's judgments, technical advice, years of expertise and creativity will help you realize the project. It is an architect who can combine all your practical needs and dreams to fit in the project within your budget.
2) Payment Terms - Fees may vary depending upon the services they will offer. Some architects might just provide designing services while others can do regular monitoring, purchase of materials and manpower, contractor negotiation, handling governmental permits, etc. The fees can also vary depending on the architect's experience and reputation.
There should be a mutual understanding between you and the architect regarding the payment mode and schedule. Always, prefer hiring an architect who accepts payment in parts (upon completion of a specific portion of the project). This way both parties will feel safe and confident about each other.
3) Keep an Eye - Unless you are a builder, you will do construction once or twice in your lifetime. This makes construction a crucial activity of your life which you should never entrust anyone easily. Remember, all the best building projects you see will surely be created when the client and architect work as a team. You should play an active role and keep an eye on the progress of the project.
Designing a building is exciting and satisfying but sometimes, it can be challenging too. If at any point of time during the building phase you feel uncomfortable, do not hesitate to discuss your concern with your architect. This is what they are getting paid for. Never let the architect control the entire project in such a way that building is no longer yours. On the other hand, do not restrict the architect that he cannot show his design creativity. There should be a proper balance between both things.
4) Get Everything in Written
- Now that you have found your perfect architect, it is time for you to get everything in writing. Make agreements with all the terms of services, schedule of payment, construction budget, the scope of work, architect's compensation, etc.