What to Look for When Hiring a Residential Architect
When hiring an architect, there are a number of things you want to keep in mind and consider. There are also many misconceptions about architects, especially concerning what many of them actually do. Very few of them work on homes, and the ones who do are called residential architects. Likewise, your first order of business is narrowing down the type of architect you want depending on their specialty, and this blog will focus squarely on residential architects. Building Advisor explains the different categories of residential projects (http://buildingadvisor.com/your-team/architects/) like design development or construction administration, and you want to narrow down exactly what you need before you even start looking for architects.
Once you have determined these specifics, it is time to start researching architects. All architects should be listed under the index of American Institute of Architects, which will give you a guide of architects in your area. Not only do you want them to have a solid portfolio, but you also want to ask each of them questions that pertain to your particular project. Ask them about their architecture style and what services they provide (managing the project and firm, handling the contractors, provide clear payment schedules, etc.). Cost is also a big factor. House Logic says that a normal architect price is anywhere from 5% to 20% of the overall project cost, and anything outside those numbers should be treated with suspicion. They also typically charge you monthly, so keep that in mind when planning your payments.
You do not want to meet with simply one architect, as getting sense of different personalities will help you pick the one that suits you specifically. Ask each of your interviewees about how they would approach the project, what they think of your building plans, and that their schedule works with yours. Again, learning how they handle payments is important too. Once you select the architect that works best for you, make sure both sides are completely clear about everything in the contract and design plans, including a timetable of work and fees. Getting legal advice about your contract is also not a bad idea, just to guarantee you are protected.