SELECTING AN ARCHITECT FAQ
Where To Begin?
The first thing is to find a good architect you can work with. If you have developed a project program and budget, that would be a bonus but an architect can help you program your home and or assist in developing a reasonable budget. While the building code exempts certain residential buildings from the use of a licensed architect, some local jurisdictions are starting to require an architect or engineers stamp on these residential units. We believe it is in your best interest to utilize a licensed professional. It's also good idea to check if your architect is licensed in the state and if the license is current. Some resources:
Selecting an architect probably is not an easy task for anyone considering a remodel or new custom home design. Part of your costs for your project will be the design fees and naturally you would be worried about the architect you end up working with. That actually is a key point to consider, the "working relationship" you develop with your architect.
Therefore it's advisable to obtain references, check out their projects/ portfolio and to actually talk to the architects you have shortlisted. Interviewing your architect enables you to verbalize your needs and desires for your project. It helps the architect understand where you are coming from and to respond appropriately. Your home is a very personal and private part of your life, bringing in an architect to become part of this process requires a relationship built on trust. Remember that when you work with the right architect, it's a home you are designing and not just a house.
Look over their portfolio of projects. Different architects bring a different set of skills and experiences to a job. There is a vast difference between an architect who works mainly on small projects and one who has designed a variety of finely crafted buildings. In some cases their fees are an end product of their expertise but this is usually offset by what they bring to the table and the value they create and save during construction. Make sure you know who you will be working with during the design process. In some large residential design firms, you may get bounced around different employees. At Gerard Lee Architects, you always get hands on involvement from the principal in charge of your project.
The More you know about what an architect does and your project requires, the better able you will be to select the right architect. In the next few pages we hope to provide you with additional aids in your selection process.