When you start down the road of purchasing a custom home, one of the first items on your checklist will be to find the architect that can make your dream design come true. It is up to that architect to take your vision and turn it into a blueprint for the builder. The key is in finding the right person for the job that will be on the same page as you in terms of creating that dream home.
Style and Needs
Before you even think about the design, you need to define the style and needs of the home. Do you want a more modern design or were you thinking farmhouse for more of a country look? What is the functionality of the home going to be? Will you need future space for children? These are all considerations you need to know before discussing the project with anyone.
Due diligence will go a long way to finding the right architect for your project. Start by reaching out to friends and family to see if they have worked with someone or know anyone that has worked with an architect. From there, you head to the internet to start researching different architects and associations for the best possible candidates. Look for examples in portfolios and customer recommendations to get a feel of whether this is the right person for you or not.
Just as you would if you were hiring a new worker for your business, you will need to meet these architects to interview them for the job. This is a chance to see if you are on the same page with them. Remember, you will be spending considerable time with this individual during this process, so there does need to be some chemistry and the ability to work through challenges together without creating friction.
Every architect is going to have his or her own process for how they go about creating the final plans. Ask questions about this to ensure their process will not become a problem for you as this all plays out. It will help to properly set expectations during the design process.
Talk to References
We briefly mentioned this above, but you need to do more than just look online. You need to speak to other clients to get a feel for what this person is like to work with during a construction project. Ask about timeline issues and conflict… how responsive was this individual to questions or changes.
The Fee Structure
Architects are going to work in one of three ways: flat fee, hourly rate, and percentage of construction cost. Know the fee structure upfront and what it entails. For instance, a flat fee architect may have additional costs after so many revisions are requested. Know the exact fee as well as what it entails, such as revisions, site visits, and additional consultations.
We mentioned above that you need to have some chemistry with this individual, but you also need to ensure your team members also have compatibility. If you are using a residential construction project manager, he or she should have to sit down in these meetings to ensure there will be no personality conflicts. There are going to be a lot of alphas in this process, so let’s make sure they can get along without bumping chests.