Most people aspire to have a home that is a reflection of their personality and style. To ensure this aspiration becomes a reality during the construction phase, it’s essential to enlist the services of an architect before reaching out to a contractor.
While a contractor ensures that you have a well-constructed home, an architect will plan and design the residential requirements to make it a reflection of you. With their artistic skills and plentiful knowledge, they will create design concepts that are beautiful, safe, and stand the test of time.
However, when looking for a professional, most people struggle to find a suitable architect, as they haven’t used one before. Also, the fear of choosing the wrong person for the job can add to their challenges and delay the process of selecting a satisfactory expert. If you’re facing similar challenges while looking for a reliable professional, to simplify your search, here’s a list of the top five things to look for in an architect.
1. Comfort and communication
While looking for a professional architect, you want to be on the lookout for someone who is not only skilled in designing the remodel or addition you want, but also capable of communicating well, and whose cost model works for you. As a result, look for an architect who you feel comfortable talking to and working with.
2. Nature of past projects
Home design magazines and professional websites are fantastic resources where you can view the work of different architects. These resources often provide insight as well into the architects’ general approach to projects along with their contact information. Once you’ve identified a few potential architects, take the time to visit their websites, scrutinize their portfolios, and learn more about their practice and approach to design.
You can even ask friends and family about their work if they hired these professionals before, to learn more about them. Word of mouth is said to be the best way to find an excellent professional, so don’t dismiss this avenue when learning about an architect’s past work. Once you acquire the information you need, make an introductory phone call so you (and the architect) can determine if they are a good fit, and then proceed to an interview.
3. Design philosophy and process
When talking to the potential architect, make sure to talk about the vision that you have for your project. For example, sustainability, preservation, low costs, or whatever is important to you. The goal here is to determine whether the architect can support and execute the vision you have in mind for your property.
Besides this, you also need to learn about their process. At Marilyn Ypes Architect Inc., we follow an established path for each project, although that process varies a bit from project to project. Typical phases in our procedure include an initial consultation, preliminary (or schematic) design, design development, document preparation, bidding and negotiation, and construction administration.
4. A clear understanding of all parameters
During your initial interactions with a potential architect, you need to know if you require all the services they provide or just some of them. To help you decide, the architect should assist you. They should also be able to educate you about their past projects, which are similar to yours. That way, you are aware of their comfort level with the size and complexity of the project you’re proposing.
Similarly, they should be able to inform you of possible complications due to a challenging site, a limited budget, or other complications, so you are aware of what you’re dealing with early on. Next, they need to specify the timeline of the project based on the work that they need to do. Delays caused by the City permitting process or a contractor’s scheduling conflicts cannot be accounted for, so be prepared for this. The final detail you need clarity on is the architect’s fee and how it is structured. Don’t leave the interview without a firm understanding of the architect’s fees, what they are based on, and how and when you will be billed.
5. Team spirit and personal involvement
Once you’ve selected an architect, there are a few things that you, too, can do to make sure the project turns out just the way you want. For starters, be available, review the drawings and material suggestions promptly, and be decisive. If you’re having trouble with a decision, keep your architect posted as they may have information or strategies that can help break the log jam.
At the same time, ask questions. The better you understand the design when it’s on paper, the less likely you’ll be unpleasantly surprised during construction. Also, it’s much easier to enlarge a closet or move a hallway when it’s on paper than after it’s been framed. The more engaged you are, the better the results will be. After all, successful projects don’t just happen. They require effort. If your architect doesn’t support your involvement, consider another professional who is.
If you’re looking for a reliable architecture firm in Toronto, ON, reach out to Marilyn Ypes Architect Inc. We excel in producing unique architectural designs that meet unique functions and compliment the landscape that surrounds them. Our philosophy is to strive for high standards of design that includes the smallest details and the overall concept. Moreover, we aim to ensure that you are satisfied with our services and the end results.