Home Improvement

Find the perfect architect to bring your vision to life

Whether you’re planning to build your dream home or upgrade an existing structure, choosing the right architect Chester can make or break your project. But how do you go about finding the right one? Here are some guidelines on how to find the perfect architect to bring your vision to life.

How to find the right architect

Finding an architect is a lot like finding a doctor or other professional you need for advice or services. You can find one through personal recommendations, searching for architects in your area, checking out their portfolios online, etc. Make sure you interview several before choosing one. If you’re building a commercial property, then you’ll also want to check that there are no local building codes that could affect what you want done. Once you’ve hired an architect, make sure they have experience working with something similar to what you want built—it’s much easier to explain what needs done if it’s already been done somewhere else.  Finally, make sure your contractor and any subcontractors work well with your architect as well as with each other. Having an architect on site during construction is highly recommended! Building anything requires communication and effective communication requires agreement. When everyone involved understands each other’s position and goals, issues will be caught early on, saving both time and money on a project. Your first meeting should include you explaining what exactly you’re looking for from them, any expectations of both parties (time frame/cost/input/etc), any relevant materials they might have already designed for previous projects so they can get started quickly, plus any of your own resources available such as photos of places where inspiration came from or must haves of specific features.

How much does it cost?

One of a homeowner’s first questions is often, How much does it cost? which seems simple enough. The problem is that getting an accurate answer isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Architects may charge by project, by hour or day, or based on materials used. Before you interview candidates, learn how they bill so you can compare apples to apples when making your decision.

What will they do?

The key responsibilities of an architect are developing concepts, designing buildings and making construction documents. Architects’ duties may include evaluating building codes and meeting standards, researching new technologies in their field, keeping abreast of industry standards, developing construction drawings from blueprints or sketch designs, creating 3D models using computer-assisted design programs (CAD) and maintaining client records. The best job opportunities are likely in urban areas where demand is high for new high-rise commercial towers with large floorplates that call for customized architecture.  Some larger firms also take on residential work; however, small architectural practices may struggle to stay competitive given how much demand there is for architects’ time.

Common pitfalls when hiring an architect

Architects are well versed in all aspects of design, but that doesn’t mean they’re equally good at them all. Don’t just hire anyone who has a valid license and can call themselves an architect, research their work closely to make sure they have experience in projects similar to yours. This could mean looking at what type of building projects they usually take on, or researching their portfolio. Although cost isn’t always an indication of skill, it’s important not to pay top dollar for someone with little experience.