You’re in the market for a professional architect, but how do you prevent mistakes or hiring incorrectly? When making huge changes to your home, or perhaps even building a new one, it’s a nervous time because you want everything to be perfect. With this in mind, here are five important considerations at this sensitive time.
Although this might sound obvious, qualifications are still something that many people forget when hiring an architect. When choosing a personal trainer, we want somebody who has the right qualifications and some experience working with clients. When hiring an architect, this is no different.
In New South Wales, there are certain requirements that aspiring heritage architects need to meet to register with the state. Thankfully, there are similar rules right across the country. For example, this includes either a Master’s degree, a Bachelor degree, or a qualification in the architecture field (as long as it has the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia accreditation).
Experience and Portfolio
In terms of experience, this is something you can ask in the initial meetings with the professional. If they’re trying to hide something, or seem unwilling to talk about their experience, walk away. When an architect has the experience, they’re normally proud to share their previous work. By looking at their portfolio, you see the type of work they’ve done before. Often, the best architects for a project are the ones with experience with similar projects. Not only do they know what works, but they also know how to avoid mistakes and deliver on-time and within budget.
When hiring an architect, you also need to think about your own timeline. Do you need to start the project immediately, or can you afford to wait? The reason this is important is that the best architects are often tied up with other projects. If you want the best architect for the project, you might have to wait for them to finish the one before. You might get lucky and contact an esteemed architect as they’re finishing a project, but normally some waiting is required.
If an architect isn’t currently on a project and doesn’t have one lined up, see this as a red flag and be careful before going ahead. For those who need an immediate start, it might be a case of ignoring the architects right at the top and settling for a service just underneath instead.
Of course, your budget will also play an important role when deciding on a professional. If you know your budget from the off, it’s possible to have financial conversations with candidates while discounting those that are clearly out of range. When deciding on a budget, remember to be realistic. For example, you’ll need a larger budget for longer projects compared to short-term projects. From here, the cost can depend on the professional, required materials, and other factors.
Word of Mouth
With something as important as an architect, we also recommend placing greater emphasis on word of mouth. When buying something small, word of mouth helps but it isn’t the be-all and end-all. If you know that a friend had an incredible experience with a specific architect, it’s worth reaching out if your project is inherently similar. Likewise, a friend’s negative experience will steer you away from other professionals.
There we have it, the five things to consider when hiring an architect. Make sure you look at the qualifications and registration of the professional, their portfolio, your timeline, your budget, and word of mouth from friends and colleagues.