Selecting an architect is a critical part of any building project.Ensuring you have the right expert to design your extension or loft conversion is vital. Your architect should know and fully understand all local building rules and regulations in effect. Otherwise, you could end up wasting money, regardless of how great the design may be; getting in trouble with the law is just not worth it.
So how can you find a great choice for an architect?
Do some homework.
What Research About Designs Can Teach You
Contact the component of the American Institute of Architects in your area. A lot of local AIA components have lists of AIA-member firms that specialize in various types of work. Some components’ member portfolios are available for review by prospective clients. Most firms, including small ones, have websites where you can see images of their work.
The Art of Mastering Professionals
While architects in the U.S. are not required to be AIA members, know anyway which architects on your list are. Membership in the AIA indicates that the architect follows the stringent AIA Code of Ethics, meets the AIA’s rigorous continuing education requirements, can use a range of professional and technical resources, and is devoted to the highest standards of practice and service.
Use the pointers below as your guide:
> Inquire from local builders and tradespeople about any good architects they have might have worked with before.
> Find two to three architects as your prospects; have them visit you – for free initially – to talk about the project.
> Be sure they have substantial experience, especially in the type of project you plan to work on. Ask what their approval rates are for submissions.
> Consult with local building control surveyors. In writing, let the architects acknowledge that they have complete knowledge of planning permission and building regulations (or standards) in your area.
> Be clear with the architect what your budget is and what exactly it includes.
> Know what services are going to be supplied by the architect.
> Will they handle obtaining planning and building regulation approval? If changes to the design will require approval, do you need to pay an extra fee and how much?
> Don’t even consider hiring an architect who doesn’t have professional indemnity insurance.
> Make sure your architect completely understands the details of your project.
> Sign a contract with your architect, agreeing to the terms and conditions in exchange for their professional services.
You may not find a great architect overnight, but with diligence and patience, you surely will.