Architects – 4 Steps for Hiring an Experienced Architect

If you have or are in the process of building your dream home, you know how it important it is to take care in hiring an architects in Miami. It’s not a process, like ordering a pizza, where a simple look at the Yellow Pages can tell you who to hire. It’s something with which you should take care, as well as an abundant amount of research.

Know what you want
No matter who you select, it’s going to come down to what you want. The first step you should take is to create a wish list of what you want the project to look like. Put together as many details as you can, including size, style, special features and plans for living in it. Such a plan will become the centerpiece you use in hiring an architect.

Ask around
The most important aspect of any working relationship is trust. You want to be sure that whoever you hire ultimately will do the job you want to your specifications. Ask your friends and family for recommendations, as you’re more likely to trust someone who has worked for someone you know. If your inquisitiveness hasn’t resulted much in the way of names or leads, then search the Internet for the names of architects in your area.

Narrow down your list
Taking a good look at the architects’ portfolios will give you a good idea of what each is capable. Examine their previous works to see if anything they’ve done previously would be a good fit for you and your needs. This will tell you about their architectural design process and philosophy.

Before you make any calls to set up appointments or consultations, try to find out the following about each: do they stay with you through the entire process? Will they outsource anything, like schematics, administrative work or bid assistance? What is their typical fee structure like? Do they carry liability insurance? Are they LEED certified or having any green ratings? What have others had to say about their work? Finding out these answers before meeting face to face will leave more time to ask questions about your specific project.

Pick out the best two or three
With all this information available, you should be ready to meet with your top two or three picks. Call or e-mail each architect to set up a consultation, and ask every question of which you can think. Find out what kind of issues or opportunities could present themselves during the project. Ask about their workload, and if they’re interested in your project. This will be the first chance each gets to find out what you want, so be sure to lay out very carefully your expectations.

After that last step, you should be ready to make a final selection. Trust your best instinct and whichever architect made you the most comfortable. Be sure to work out a contract where both parties’ responsibilities are spelled out clearly.

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