Architects are much more than people who draw lines on a piece of paper! They have a high-quality education; and combine science, history, and art to create a structure! Whether you are planning a commercial or residential project, you must find a reliable architect who understands your vision and will be there for you 100%. It might seem difficult to find such a person, but these steps will bring you closer to your ideal architect.
CLARIFY YOUR VISION
Finding an architect that respects your vision is crucial for the project’s success. But first you need to clarify that vision yourself! Write your preferences on paper and try to visualize your ideal space. Even if you don’t know how to draw, do sketches of your ideas and the images that pop in your mind. You can find inspiration online (for example Pinterest) and create a mood board i.e. a representation of your vision.
You might wonder why this is important for finding the perfect architect. Well, architects are artists. Each has a unique style and aesthetic preferences. It’s best to choose an architect whose previous work matches your style and needs. Trust us, a great connection between the client and the architect is the key to creating an astonishing space.
After you find 5-6 architects you like, schedule interviews with each of them. Even if someone has the same taste as you, it doesn’t mean that they are perfect for the job. The best architects are also professional, respect budgets and deadlines, have immense knowledge, and listen to what their clients have to say.
Look at how the architect communicates with you. Ask yourself these questions and write the answers on paper after each interview:
Did the architect interrupt you many times?
Did they give constructive opinions or just devalue yours?
Did they look confident in their abilities?
How interested were they in the project?
Was communication smooth or awkward?
Did they mention crucial things like budget, cost estimates, and building permits?
LOOK AT PORTFOLIOS
Another way to choose between multiple architects is to look at their portfolios. The portfolio speaks volumes about someone’s abilities, experience, and interests. Simply, you can see whether the architect is up to the task.
For example, if you want to build a restaurant in Washington, you can look for architects that have already designed amazing restaurants, preferably in the same DC neighborhood you plan to build in.
While looking at the portfolio, you can ask the architect more details about each project. One specific question can tell you volumes about the architect’s professionalism: Were there any obstacles during the project and how did you overcome them? If they get defensive or sneaky, dig around a bit more.
TALK TO PREVIOUS CLIENTS
The best way to learn more about a professional is to talk with previous clients. If most clients are happy with the architect’s performance, go for it! But if there are too many negative comments, it might be best to move on.
Online reviews can show customer satisfaction without having to go through awkward phone calls and brunches. You can also talk to people in the industry like builders, permit expediters, and project managers. If somebody is that good or that bad, word will get around quickly!
5 THINGS YOU SHOULD LOOK FOR IN AN ARCHITECT
To summarize the previous steps, here are the 5 things you should look for in every architect:
Excellent artistic, communication and organization skills
Openness for collaboration
Willingness to commit to the project