To catch up on this series “Custom Home – how to get started,”, part one is posted here.
So now you have decided to hire an architect. How do you find the right architect for your custom home?
Architects all have areas of specialization. First you need to find a firm that focuses on residential design. Second find a firm that does a diversity of residential styles or at least has done projects you find aesthetically pleasing. Third interview the architect and find out if they will be working on your project directly, what values they incorporate into their designs, and how they prefer to communicate. If the architects has a blog many of these questions will probably be answered by reading their thoughts prior to the face to face interview. Personal confidence in the architect is the most important factor when entering a design relationship. The other important criteria are trust and ability to communicate (hear you well). Of course cost for the design is an important element and should be discussed before signing a contract to make sure everyone is on the same page with budget.
Finally, ask for references from the architect. They will provide you, if you ask, with past clients that are willing to talk to you about their process with the architect. Many of these past clients probably have gone through the same experiences as you are figuring out so these conversations can be of huge value not only in selecting an architect, but learning about the process and strategies for making your experience even better.