Your Guide to Hiring An Architect

You’re ready to remodel, or perhaps build your dream home. You have an idea, a look,

and style in mind. Now it’s time to hire an architect to make it all a reality.

Hiring the “right” architect is serious business. An architect is the strategic mind that drives your project to make sure things get done, and are done right. They’re problem solvers, good listeners, detail oriented, and ultimately keep the budget on track. Knowing which questions to ask is an imperative first step in hiring the right architect. Here are some key questions to ask when interviewing potential candidates.

1. What kind of solutions can they provide to the challenges you’re facing with a new build or remodel?

As mentioned above, architects are problem solvers. It’s an essential part of what they do. As with any architectural project, there will be challenges that need solutions. The right architect can keenly look at your project to determine these challenges and present the best possible solutions that resonate with your budget and style.

2. Do they have a signature architectural style?

The vast majority of architects posses the talent of being able to adapt to any given clients particular style. However, some architects bring a specific design style that emulates with every project they touch. For example, some may focus on re-imagined historic styles, while others may have a very specific modern feel to their work. Neither is wrong, but it’s good to have this knowledge beforehand.

3. Are they available during the actual construction process?

Architects do more than design and provide blueprints. Often times they are also available during the construction process to help with the following tasks to make your life easier:

■ Staying involved throughout the life of the project — to make sure things are done

as per the intent of the design

■ Make design adjustments as the work progresses

Ask the architect what services they provide, and the costs involved. Certain services such as site inspections and revisions will likely be included in your contract, while others may be a la carte.

4. Will they provide drawings, and or blueprints?

Providing visuals is a must. Discuss how the ideas and drawings will be presented. A majority of architects now utilize software to render 3-D images that can be rotated and viewed from multiple angles to give a clear picture of the overall project. If they’re unable to provide you with 3-D renderings of your project, this could be telling, and very well mean that the candidate isn’t up to speed on the latest building techniques and methods.

5. How do they charge for their work?

Typically architects charge either at an hourly rate, fixed fee rate or at a percentage of the total project cost, anywhere from 5 to 20 percent. This can vary depending on the services they provide, the complexity of the job, and the notoriety or experience of the architect. The number one thing to determine in the relationship with your architects is transparency in the communication to make certain that the budget is maintained, and the vision for the end result of what you want is ultimately kept on track.

Smith Bros. is a unique team of construction craftsmen, architects, and interior designers. Since 1978, we stress the absolute highest levels of quality, performance, value and service in each and every project. Our award-winning design ideas, expertise, and collective experience allow us to provide the very best in what we do. For more information please contact us at 877-230-0333, (+01) 858-350-1445, or


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