Have you thought about a new addition to your family for your house? Will your home company have a kitchen table outgrown? Or perhaps you could open your home to an elderly relative who cannot walk the steps of your colonial central hall. The truth is, our lives are changing, but our homes are not alone, at least. You would need remodeling if you continue to stay in your house as your life progresses.
If the bathroom is added, the kitchen is extended or the house has been added to double, renovation typically requires resources, preparation, and sometimes more than a little tension. It can also pose more concerns over and beyond construction and other options like what tiles to use on the new floor of the bathroom. Typically one of these questions is: do I need to hire an architect?
An architect is often regarded in this DIY world as a luxury, which can be an expensive one. Without the aid of an architect, you can complete a structural remodel – even a massive one. Typically, if the designer and you have a talent to design, if you have a good vision of what you intend and if your designs will be generated that can meet your local construction authority (or your architect or someone you know). You could get around without an architect in all these cases. But then you can ask another question: ‘Do I really want to? ’
And the right answer would still be yes, you certainly do need an architect. No doubt, you can complete a project without their help but architects would ensure making your project an innovative one with their years of experience and skills which you do lack. The architect will be responsible for designing, planning, and overseeing the construction of your house.
When should you hire an architect?
Architects aren’t just required when you are working on building a new site. Listed below are the signs conveying the need of recruiting an architect or at the least, an experienced architectural designer
You have a problem with your house but clueless on how to solve it
Perhaps each time you open the door, your laundry room in the hallway, upstairs causes a jam. Or you need another room, but it is a matter of every inch of the property. A good architect will help you sort the choices and develop creative innovations that can suit you, your budget, and your lifestyle.
You are confined but do not wish for an addition
A good architect would ensure you make the most of all available space before proposing additions to your house. Also, the smallest houses are frequently underused and can be redesigned and adapted to daily usage. A couple of changes can make a square footage shortage into a bigger and better space
You are tight on your budget
Since you are already tight on budget, you might wonder why am I suggesting you another professional for you to pay which will eventually add up to your expenses. But trust me, a trusted architect will enable you to cut down your expenses. An architect will propose replacing the same effect with a similar but more cost-effective construction material. They will guide you to stop making errors, whether in design or material, which you can regret and cost you more money later on.
You are remodeling your house
Maybe you want to raise the roof or change the brick theme of your colonial builder from the 1990s. When and where design is critical, hire an architect.
Factors to consider when hiring an architect
Take details of as many as possible architects and then sit down to shortlist the best ones based on their fee, working method, and experience. Once you are done finalizing, it’s time to invite them for a meeting and discuss the building. Seize the moment to judge their ideas, personal rapport, and the budgeting
With growing scams and frauds, trusting people with your home without doing a background check would be the finest mistake that you could ever do. And so, when researching architects, double-check whether or not they are registered with the Architects Registration Board to be on a safer side. Hire only the registered architects, it will provide further assurance.
What do you think will happen if there’s no co-operation between the experts? For example, Architects would provide specific instruction to the electrical engineer but he fails to convey it to his team and the architect has also not cross-checked the same, it’s similar to inviting a disaster. To build a home, there will be a couple of experts joining hands together for delivering you your dream home. From contractors, designers to carpenters and architects, it’s essential for them to have a fun and positive relationship with each other. Therefore, look who is an architect that fosters a co-operative atmosphere
This one is the most important aspect for you to consider before entrusting your home with the architect. There might be a situation where the architectural designs would not go as planned by you and the architect, however, that doesn’t mean you need to compromise with your needs and desires. Therefore, an architect with a variety of architectural designs would be willing to deliver you the right design solutions. Versatility allows the architect to alter the design to reflect your desires
For an architect, frequent site visits are pretty much common to do so. Therefore, always consider the location of the architect to ensure that they would take sufficient rounds at the construction site and witness the progress. An architect who is personally involved is incredibly helpful to manage contractors to fix concerns or difficulties when they occur.
You will come across plenty of potential architects that would be showing you their designs but hold on, before you hire them, you need to evaluate whether or not they will listen and understand your needs and abilities and also, translate them into their designs. Remember, a good architect isn’t some who impresses you with their ideas but the one who inculcates your ideas into their designs. Because, of course, nobody can understand your needs and wants better than you.
Local Planning Knowledge
It would be beneficial to hire an architect with local planning authorities’ expertise (and information on prior approvals). Besides frequent site visits, another benefit of hiring a local architect would be to grab their previous projects expertise and knowledge in the current one. Also, if you go for a local architect, the probabilities are high of them having previous dealings and relationships with the local planners, recommended builders, and more.
The portfolio represents the identity and preferences of your potential architect. So, every time you come across an architect’s portfolio, always go with your instincts and with what you are attracted to aesthetically. Are you fond of the use of decoration, fabrics, architecture, or avant-garde style? Many architects work on private and public ventures, so you can see if you can visit either of them. It would be extremely helpful to get a sense of their job.
The architect will play a major role in leading you towards your goals and desires of your new home. And so, you just cannot go vague with the decision of recruiting an architect for the project. You need to do a thorough background check to understand who you will be working with. Please ask and obtain references. Does professionalism, integrity, and design excellence underlie their business? The answer to this question will help you to quickly determine the reputation of the architect you are in talks with.
You need to discuss and finalize the payment amount as well as the payment method before signing the contract, this way you can avoid future conflicts. Architects generally charge a percentage of the overall project value, based on the services rendered, from 5 percent to 20 percent.
Don’t ignore the RED FLAGS
A portfolio of similar designs only
By this, I don’t mean that it’s not ok for professionals to work on similar projects only but it does convey that they have not tried their hands-on different types of architectural styles yet and since, you have invested quite a lot, I would suggest you to not to be wary of a portfolio that is all the same style of work- unless that style is exactly what you have been desiring for
Believing their sugar-coated words
To ensure you will be delivered the best, it would be wise if you ask the architect for a stroll around one of the architect’s designs, and it may be a shockingly bad signal when you see issues like nail pop, cracks settle, wrinkles, or irregular textures on walls.
Avoid architects who seems to be busy
This one is a major red flag. It’s ok to entrust your house with an architect who has a handful of projects, as it symbolizes that they are worth your trust. But, there’s a fine line between being busy and being unavailable due to an extra busy schedule and you need to pay attention to the latter. Architect with a super busy schedule may lack time and energy to put in your project
Too many opinions or too few
No doubt, you need to hire someone with a good year of experience but also you need to make sure that they are all ears. If they are not detailed and straight jumps to conclusions leaving aside the briefing given from your end is another big red flag as such architects would not allow you to make your own design choices
Choosing lowest bidder
Before finalizing the architect, remember, “you get what you for’, therefore, when someone lowballs a quote or estimate for your architectural design or plans, you may believe it’s an unsurpassable shouting deal. But for a fact, this architect possibly plans a whole set of loopholes and catchments that will inevitably cost the figures unforeseen.
Questions to ask
- Who’s going to do the design? Will he be an architect accredited or an intern?
- Does the architect guide or is the client expected to provide guidelines on the finish selections?
- How do you organize the fees? Hourly? Cost of construction percentage?
- How long will the design and building process take?
- What is the process of your work?
- How do you resolve disputes or how do you deal with them?
- Who’s going to be the contact point?
- Can you design to a budget? Does my budget for the project I am thinking about realistic?
- How much experience do you have in the project to which I’m referring?
- What is and isn’t included in your fees?
- Will you be involved in the construction process?
Pros of hiring an architect
An architect would produce more interesting and creative design work with a highly functional floor plan, good natural lighting and ventilation, and good integration with the building site
They ensure avoiding design errors common in plan or with inexperienced designers
They will be responsible for offering you and the contractors detailed guidelines and specifications to work with
Another major benefit of hiring an experienced architect is that being in the construction industry, they can provide you with trusted contractors for you to continue entrusting your dream house
The architect will manage on your behalf the challenging details of contract talks, ensuring that you have a friendly, cooperative relationship with your contractor.
Signing of the contract
To ensure your money and house is in safe hands, signing a contract with terms and conditions agreed by both the parties, you and the architect is a must. The contract would include the nature of the work, the architect’s services, and the project plan as well as the sum of money charged by the architect and when.
Get an architect onboard only when you are sure that their taste and preferences are similar to yours. This is the most important parameter that will help you develop your house in a better way.
Pro tip: A good architect will help you to get the best design, suggest trusted and professional workers, manage your investment, protect your building interests and save you time, money and stress.
I hope that the above-mentioned information will be valuable to you when choosing an architect for your project.