Picking the right architect isn’t a matter of getting lucky, or making the right guess. The best architects can be found by logically weeding out the good from the bad. By doing research, both online and off, by asking questions of trusted friends and neighbors, and by approaching potential architects with the right questions, you too will be able to find the right architect for your needs.
View the Portfolio
An architect’s portfolio is the first indication of whether or not that architect’s tastes and conventions match up with your own tastes and desires. When you’re viewing an architect’s portfolio, your main goal will be to identify that architect’s priorities. How does that architect handle light and form? Does the architect use materials that you like? Do you trust the architect’s artistic sensibilities?
Take notice of the architect’s tastes. Are the architect’s structures sleek and modern? Conventional and traditional? How does the architect’s work make you feel? Does it inspire you?
Read the Architect’s Bio and Website
The architect’s bio and website will tell you a lot about the type of projects the architect feels most passionately about, and the type of work that will bring out the best in that architect. Does the architect focus on public buildings or private residences? What awards has that architect won? What kind of companies or individuals have hired this architect in the past? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you determine whether or not that architect is a match for you and your upcoming project.
One of the best ways to find an architect that is right for your project is to speak with friends and neighbors who have themselves hired architects. This will ensure that the architect you hire is someone with a track record of excellence and good service.
When taking a referral, ask questions of the person who is referring the architect to you. What was their experience working with that architect? What were that architect’s strengths and weaknesses? Do they have any reservations or concerns about working with that architect, now that the job is finished? Would they choose to work with that architect again? Did the project go smoothly? Was the architect a good communicator? Did the architect work well with contractors and other people involved in the project?
When selecting an architect, find out if the architect of your choice is involved in professional organizations and societies that have standards for membership. This may not be a requirement to be an architect, but will speak of your architect’s level of commitment. Your architect should have also met the standards to be an architect in your state and should be able to furnish references upon request.
Once you’ve identified a handful of architects who possess artistic styles and sensibilities that match up with your own, you’ll need to speak with each architect individually. Start with phone interviews to narrow down your choices, then meet with the serious candidates in person.
When selecting an architect, describe your project to the best of your ability, then ask that person how he or she would approach the issue. Ask that architect if he or she anticipates having any issues with your project. It’s important that you and your architect can talk to each other honestly and openly, without miscommunications. This means that you and your potential architect will need to be thinking and prioritizing the same things.
By using these methods and following these tips, you’ll be able to find an architect that is able to take on your project and see it to its conclusion.