As an architect I am trained to appreciate beauty, to technically analyze efficiency, find problems, identify potential, evaluate the pros and cons of options, and offer a client the solution that best fits the budget, program, and aesthetic goals. This is the basis for design. We, as architects, spend countless hours searching for options, learning about solutions, investigating products, and trying to understand the available technologies. We have long detailed conversations with experts on subjects like air sealing, egress, health and safety, wind loads, indoor air quality, the flush capacity of toilets, proper proportions of kitchens, stairs, and windows, and snow loads. We are completely and totally an odd bunch.
So why should you use an architect (not a drafter) to design your home or business? Because we will help you through the process to find the best possible solutions for your stated goals. We know the process, can help you avoid pitfalls along the way, and add value to your project. Because we are trained to design, understand project integration, and know the complications involved in designing high-performance solutions. You should hire an architect because we know how the contract administration phase should be performed, we advocate for you in the construction process, and we help you develop a project that meets your goals. You should hire an architect because you will get design no matter who draws your project – you can either get the design from someone who lives and breathes design, or someone who can draw a plan. You should hire an architect because we add value to your project and because good planning saves you time, money, and energy.
So which architect should you use? You should select an architect that has a proven track record with the types of issues that are important to you. You should look at the past projects designed by the firm, the certifications they hold, and the organizations they hold an active role in. You need to trust your architect, be able to discuss openly and freely your goals and desires for the projects, and you need an architect that will be fun to work through this process that can be stressful at times. The best way to get to know an architect is to read their blog posts to find out what they are interested in and where their passion lies. Check out their Facebook page to see what they talk about. Read their Twitter feed to see who they endorse, retweet, and tweet. Look at the organizations they join and what they do for that organization to support the efforts they believe in. Talk to others in the community about their experiences with that architect.
Hiring an architect is the most important part of planning a good project. It is the first step towards success. It is the best way to save money during the construction process. Hiring an architect is critical to the success of your project.