Today, we’ll be discussing how to choose an architect. When you have a project in mind, it is undoubtedly exciting. You probably can’t wait to see your ideas brought to life, and an architect will help you do just that! But how do you choose the right one? With so many architects out there, it can feel overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be a difficult decision. We have compiled a list of things to consider and look for when choosing an architect. If you are interested in learning more, stick around! Let’s get started.

Make a List of Questions for the Architect

First and foremost, it is important to remember that every architect will do things a bit differently. Each architect has their own approach to design as well as their own style and way of working. You should try to find an architect that understands your personal style and needs. In order to do this, you will need to do some research– But we’ll get to that shortly! First, you need to take some time to think and brainstorm about the project you have in mind. Make a list of questions and be able to come up with a clear answer for them. Some questions to consider include:

  • What kind of project are you planning? Is it commercial or residential?
  • What is the scope of this project?
  • How much space will be necessary?
  • Where will this building be located? 
  • What will the building be used for?
  • How much are you willing to spend on the project? Does this align with a realistic budget?
  • How will you finance this project?
  • Do you want to do some of the work yourself?

It is okay if you cannot clearly answer every single question yet– Once you choose an architect, they can help you fill in the gaps. However, it will be helpful to have some ideas in mind.

Ask Around About Architects in Your Area

After you’ve outlined your project ideas, ask around to friends and family members about any projects they have done and what architect or architectural firm they used. Referrals are often overlooked, but can be extremely helpful with narrowing down your choices. Besides referrals, one of the easiest things you can do is to do a simple internet search of architects in your area. Take your time to visit each website and learn about the architect and their work. Some architectural firms prefer to focus on minimalist design, while others prefer more complex and creative pieces. Look at some of the projects they completed, as well as what they are currently working on. Do these styles align with your personal preference? For example, if you are looking for a simple and traditional building, an architectural firm that makes use of geometric shapes and unique patterns may not be for you. 

Something else you may find helpful is to take a look at other buildings or architectural projects in your area that you like, and find out who designed and built them. From there, you can start to create a list of potential architects. From your list of architects, you should check if each one of them is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). This is a professional organization for architects in the United States, and members follow a professional code of ethics and have access to a wide variety of resources. 

After Choosing Your Architect

It is never a bad idea to call each architectural firm and set up a short interview or meeting with an architect to learn more about them and speak to them about your project ideas. This will help you get a better understanding of how the architect works and whether or not your aesthetics align. You should clearly explain your project ideas, what you are looking for, and bring along any inspirational photos. Some questions you may want to ask the architect include:

  • What projects have you done that are similar to mine?
  • Can you provide references to projects similar to mine?
  • Do you foresee any issues with this project?
  • How much time will the design process take? 
  • How long do you estimate construction to take?
  • Who will I be working with?
  • What is your fee and how will I be billed?

These are just a few of the most important questions you should ask your prospective architect. Being prepared with questions like this will help you get a sense of what you can expect if you select a particular architectural firm. 

It is also important to consider the size of the architectural firm. For example, a small firm with only one architect may be overwhelmed with projects and will be unable to complete yours in a timely manner. If you are working on a tight schedule, this probably won’t be the best idea for you. Don’t be afraid to inquire about how many architects work at the firm, how many projects they are currently handling, and how much time they can devote to your project. 

Here at Architecture Plus, we do not have a single favorite style of architecture. Instead, we create designs that meet the demands of each individual client. Our small, yet well-rounded firm has a wide array of experience which helps us ensure that we meet and exceed your expectations. You can learn more about us on our FAQ page, and you can find examples of our work on our projects page!

In our last post, we talked about interior architecture, which is the design of the interior, or inside, of a building. We discussed how interior architecture differs from interior design, and went over some examples of interior architecture, such as glass walls, slats, and storage walls. If you are interested in learning more about interior architecture, we encourage you to check out our last post!

If you’re looking for the perfect architect to execute your project, we hope you’ll consider Architecture Plus! We hope you found this article informative and we hope to see you back on the blog soon as we continue to dive into various topics regarding architecture. Perhaps something might spark inspiration for your next project! For more information on architectural design and building, keep up-to-date with the Architecture Plus blog. If you’re ready to sit down with an experienced team of designers and hash out the elements of your next project, reach out to us! We’re eager to hear from you. Until next time, thank you for reading!