How to Choose an Architect
There are many different aspects to consider when it comes to selecting an architect for your project, whether to build a new house, add an extension or renovate an older property. Here are a few tips to help walk you through the process and learn more about what to take into consideration when choosing an architect for your building project.
Drawing Up a Design Brief
Before you embark on the process of selecting an architect, it is important to first of all decide what exactly it is you want them to do. At this stage, you should draw up a document known as a design brief, which you will eventually pass on the architect once completed. You don’t necessarily need to have an exact idea of what you want at this early stage - after all, this is what the architect is there to help you with. However, the more details you can provide them with, the better the architect will be able to meet your expectations and come up with solutions. As a minimum it would be ideal for you to have an idea of how many bedrooms and bathrooms you would like the final property to have, for example.
For residential architecture projects, the purpose of the design brief is to communicate to the architect your needs and goals for the project and what’s most important to you for your new home. To do so, it’s important to reflect about your lifestyle and the needs of the entire family for the living space. Ask yourself what you like or don’t like about your existing home, and what features or functions you wish it had. Think about your family’s activities and the time you spend together, and where, as well as how your family and their needs may evolve in the future.
You can also use this stage of the process to consider which architectural styles you’re interested in, as well as any materials you would like to feature in the final design. An overall style or an idea of your taste and preferences will be useful to share with the architect; for example, if you would like the kitchen, dining area and living room to be open-plan or if you would instead favour a more traditional layout. Your budget and time constraints will also be important factors in developing your design and project, so it’s best to start planning how you will finance the project and any considerations for the timeframe as well. It’s also a good idea to define your priorities for the project. For example, if it’s important to you to build an environmentally-friendly and sustainable architecture project that incorporates renewable energy sources, this will be an important factor in your search for an architect and your future design.
Finding an Architect
Once you’ve begun defining your project, it’s important to find the right architect to help you develop your ideas and find the best solutions to make them a reality. The architect you choose is an essential partner in this process, and it’s important that they understand and are in tune with your vision, style and values. Architects specialise in a variety of fields, from homes to commercial buildings, retail spaces, offices and more. Some specialise in new build projects, while others are experts in refurbishing existing buildings or conservation architecture. Some architects are specialised and even certified in designing Passive Houses or energy-efficient buildings, with specialised expertise in innovative building techniques. The best fit for your project will be an architect who specialises in your project type, whether it’s for alterations to your home or flat or to build a new property or development. You’ll also want to look for an architect who offers the services you’ll require for your project, whether you’re just looking for drawings or full project management.
So how can you find the perfect architect? We’ve made it simple – you can search for local architects near your city, specialising in your type of building and project type, preferred architecture style, or geographical location to find the architect who is right for your project. You can also view examples of their work to get an idea of the style of design they create. Once you’ve found the perfect architect, you can contact them directly by phone or email to get in touch to discuss your project.
Meeting with an Architect
Your first meeting with the architect is the opportunity to present your ideas and get to know them and their work to see if they’re right for your project. The architect you choose is someone you’ll be in contact with for a fair amount of time, so it’s pivotal that you see eye to eye, especially if any snags or hitches arise with the project, or it doesn’t go exactly according to plan. The relationship you have with the architect needs to be one of trust. A good architect will be a partner you trust financially, knowing that they’ll respect your budget rather than pressuring you to make choices that fit into their vision for the building. You’ll also want to look for an architect who respects your priorities for the project, whether it’s your family’s needs for accessibility or your concern for sustainability.