An architectural designer or architect is a licensed professional who is trained and skilled to plan and design buildings. Besides having a degree, he should have good imagination, artistic talent, and creative skills. An architectural designer does diverse kinds of works, from designing landscapes and houses to historic preservation and urban planning. Etymologically, the word architect has been derived from the Latin word ‘architectus’, which in turn is derived from the Greek word ‘arkhitekton’, meaning ‘chief builder’.
Hiring an architect entails a cost. The price that the architects charge depends on the type and size of the project, complexities involved in the work, geographical location of the project, and other factors. If you are looking for an architectural designer, here are some tips that will help you when hiring an architect:
- Ask for recommendations- ask your friends and relatives if they had hired any architect for their residential or commercial projects, and whether they were satisfied with his/her work. Ask them to give their honest and candid feedback.
- Consider the architect’s experience – Ask the architect how many years he has been in this field. Choose one with a good experience.
- Consider his expertise- Each architect has his/her own individual style of working. There are many architects who follow the modern or contemporary style of designing, while there are others who follow the classic style. Similarly, there are architects who specialize in constructing single family dwellings, while there are many who specialize in constructing multiple family dwellings. There are also others who specialize in constructing different types of condominium. Consider your project type and choose an architect accordingly.
- Ask for references- Ask for at least 5 references from the architect. Call at least 3 of them and ask whether they were satisfied with his work. Still better, visit the project site and see for yourself the architect’s work. Also ask the clients if any problem arose during the project and how it was handled.
- Verify all documents- Verify the license and other credentials of the architect. You can call professionals to verify the documents on your behalf.
- Pen down all proceedings- Make sure every single detail of the contract is penned down in paper, like, the pay structure, detailed description of the task, date of starting and completion of project, etc.
- Choose an architect who is amenable- Share your ideas with the architect. He should be receptive to them and include them in the project. You can show him some examples of buildings from design magazines.
- Keep your questions prepared- have your questions prepared when you go to an architect. Here are some questions you may ask- what is the pay structure, what services he provides during construction, if any unforeseen circumstance occurs, how will he handle it and how will it affect the terms and price of original contract.
- Whether he will be present in person- Ask about the working procedures of the architectural designer. Ask if he will be present in person to supervise the work or have representatives supervise on his behalf. Choose architects who will themselves be present for supervision.