Thinking architecture? Think architect

by Stickywire on Tuesday July 3, 2012

If you are a homeowner planning an extensive renovation or building a whole new home, it is a good idea to hire an architect. Many homeowners bypass these professionals and work only with a contractor, not realizing that many things will differ from home to home and that a contractor may not appreciate these differences while an architect should.

Here are steps to consider in the hiring of an architect:

It is likely best to use a local architect who is familiar with the history of your neighborhood as well as factors like soil conditions, local bylaws governing housing and local process of permission for building. Local architects also will know local artisans and tradespeople who will do the best job of his or her instructions.

The architect must see and tour your site so secure your site before engaging an architect or work with the architect to find the perfect site for the home you want.

Ask several architects for quotes and wait until each architect delivers a quote. This can be a lengthy process because there are many things to consider and to cost.

Compare quotes  and ask questions about anything you don’t fully understand. Don’t worry only about price – consider carefully the quality of the architect’s work before you select your architect.

Wait for an initial concept: it could take several months for an architect to produce this. You may have to work with the architect for some time to turn the concept into your dream home design.

The architect should give you a rough per-foot estimate so you can determine the budget you need for the concept on which you decide. 

The architect should select an engineer who will turn the architect’s plan into a sound building design.

Other steps are the application for bulding permits, choosing of a contractor and negotiating contracts with key builders or renovators. The whole process can be long and complex but if it begins with a good architect, the way ahead will be clearer and somewhat easier.

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