One of the first steps in designing and building a custom home is selecting your architect.
Working with an architect from the very beginning adds the greatest value to your project and sets your project up for success. An architect can guide you through the rest of the project, helping to create a design that meets your goals and objectives, and then acting as your advocate (your “eyes and ears” on the job site) during construction.
But It’s not about just finding any architect or designer, it’s about finding YOUR architect. Many people think that architects are all the same and so they shop around and select one based on cost. But…. We’re not all the same!
So, how do you find YOUR architect – the one best suited for you and your project?
Here are some tips and guidelines to analyze the qualifications, design strengths and weaknesses, and communication skills of different architects.
Your goal is not to find the ultimate architect, but to find the architect that is the right fit for you and your project goals so that together you can create the best possible project.
1. Do your research
Your home is important. And you’re making a big investment. How you spend your time, energy, and money has a significant impact on you and the life you want to lead. So finding trusted partners to support you in this once-in-a-lifetime journey takes time and effort.
So, when doing your research:
- find qualified professionals
- get to know them – meet in person, talk on the phone, or email them – whatever works best for you
- ask for references & check them
- review their previous projects for style congruency
- review their career history, training, licensure (if that’s important to you or required in your area)
2. Narrow down your search based on project fit
And by this I mean: find someone who has similar design styles, core beliefs, or specializations that you’re looking for.
Many people choose an architect or designer for the wrong reason.
Wrong reason = They are the cheapest.
Cost is not a good indicator of quality, professionalism, experiences or talent.
At the same time, most designers (architects, designers, interior designers) have things they specialize in; whether it’s style, project types, performance criteria, codes, historical preservation, type of services, or whatever.
Don’t make the mistake of working with someone because they are a friend, they are the cheapest, or they call themselves the best. Choose someone based on the characteristics that are important to you and your project.
What does PK Architecture specialize in?
We specialize in traditional design and simple, efficient, and cost-effective solutions. We also have a knack for solving interesting design challenges, whether that involves complex or remote sites, working with existing structures, blending styles, or outside-the-box thinking.
3. Trust your intuition
If you’re hiring a designer or architect, they’re going to be in your life for a while. You’ll be spending a lot of time communicating with them and familiarizing them with your life. You’ll be spending a lot of time talking about your goals and dreams, your financials, how you live your life, what you want in your home and what you like and dislike.
The better your architect knows you and how you live, the better they can help create a home that will support you in the life you want to lead.
So as you start to get to know potential designers, get a feel for whether you can get along with this person and connect with. Can you trust them? Can you connect with them? Do they listen to what you’re saying and not saying? Do they get you? Do they want to get to know you?
Our instincts and gut are good measures for this kind of thing, but also make sure you do your homework.