5 Ways to choose the right architectThe kids have taken over every room in the house, the wife is opening up her own home business in the dining room, and the parents just dropped their luggage off on the front stoop for an extended stay. It’s time to realize that the current size of your house just isn’t big enough for everyone’s needs.

Adding on a home addition will give that extra bit of space for a spare bedroom, entertainment space or home office. Yet to get it done right, you want to hire a professional architect to design the addition so it fits into your design style and your budget. Don’t scratch your head trying to figure out the right architect for your needs. Use these 5 tips so that you have the most success picking out one that will bring your design dreams to life.

1: Select Professionals Who Are Licensed And Certified Architects Seriously, you wouldn’t hire a hair stylist to perform open heart surgery on you. So don’t hire someone who doesn’t have the education, experience and licensing to perform the architectural designs for your home addition. Professional architects will normally have degrees through a National Architectural Accrediting Board program. They may also be members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and be certified with the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Having licensing, memberships and accreditation ensures that the architect is working by the standards and regulations of the industry to create safe building structures.

The AIA website allows you to find architects in your state and region. So you can develop a list of architects and use other factors to narrow down the list. Be aware that there are many people who may have a degree in architecture but never obtained their licensing as they will refer to themselves as home designers. Also, not every architect will be listed on the AIA website although they have the education, experience and licensing to help you with your home addition.

2: Obtain Referrals From Friends, Family, Coworkers And Building Professionals If you want an architect that you can trust, get referrals from friends, family and coworkers. They can tell you about their previous experiences when working with certain architects, how much the architect charged for services, and how the architect captured their design ideas. Don’t know anyone who has worked with an architect? Then ask about building professionals such as contractors, interior designers and painters that your family and friends have worked with in the past. These professionals may have certain recommendations as you will know they will work well with the architect.

3: Compare Fees Versus Services Home addition design services will be varied between professionals. All architects will offer design, blueprints, site inspections and revisions. Yet there will be additional services that may be included in with their basic contract or be optional services that you can request, such as helping you hire a contractor, managing the project, reviewing payment invoices, and providing LEED coordination/certification assistance. Find out what services the architect provides, what optional services are available, and what are the fees for their services. You will also want to find out how they charge for their services — such as a percentage for the projects costs (8% up to 15%) or a retainer — and when the fees will be billed so that it will fit into your financial budget.

4: Selecting An Architect By Signature Style You love a mixture of colonial and rustic design themes. Yet the architect keeps trying to get you to agree with modern industrial designs. Some architects have a signature style that they won’t stray from very often as they try to place a bit of it into your design plans. Most architects will put their own signature styles on the backburner and instead focus on your particular style ideas because it is your home addition you will have to live with and enjoy. Yet if the architect insists on adding Spanish colonial revival to your modern Gothic preferences, you may want to select a different architect.

5: Conduct The All Important Interview Really, you have to interview the architect to find out their strengths, weaknesses and how they will communicate with you in regards to the project. The interview is also a way for the architect to find out more about your design ideas. Ask important questions such as what obstacles may be encountered with the home addition, what projects the architect has previously done work on, how long the project will take from the design to the construction phase, and if the architect has a list of contractors that they will work with to complete your project.

Have A Beautiful Home Addition With Help From The Right Architect It’s not that daunting to find an architect that will be the perfect fit for you. Have a clear idea about your home addition plan and provide the architect with photos and preferences so they can nail down your dream design. Then watch as your home addition dreams become a reality.