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Is it Time to Hire an Architect?

Are you ready to make some major home renovations and know the changes aren’t something you can do on your own? If you plan to modify your home structurally, it’s probably time to call in an expert and hire yourself an architect.

An architect is a blend of an artist and a builder. Such a professional designs the aesthetic and functional aspects of buildings, draws up plans and also oversees the construction of buildings. Architects are licensed and registered and have undergone extensive schooling and testing in the architectural field.

Here are some tips for choosing the best architect to safely make your dream home renovation a reality.

Check Qualifications

An architect works with your home, which in many cases may be the most important building in your life. Protect your residence by verifying that the architect holds a current license and carries sufficient liability insurance.

Also ask about the architect’s experience designing and building projects similar to your own.

Request Recommendations

Ask for the names and contact information of three to four homeowners who have used the services of the architect you are considering. Call the references and ask the clients what they thought about the work done by the architect. If possible, go and see the completed work.

Get the Details in Writing

A reputable architect draws up a client-architect agreement that spells out the services to be provided; the projected time frame, how subcontractors and their work will be handled and the architect’s fees and payment schedule. Getting all of the planned expenses and services in writing enables you to know what to expect and to stick to your budget.

Ask about Rendering Capabilities

Computer-imaging allows today’s architects to provide you with a mock-up of your proposed renovations. Such lifelike, detailed plans give you a good visual image of your planned renovations.

3d Rendering of a home
Source: Chief Architect

Expect an Easy Rapport

Depending on the extent of the remodeling, you may find yourself working with the architect for several months or more. With this in mind, it’s important that you enjoy a positive camaraderie with the architect.

Make sure the architect is willing to listen to your plans for your home and take them into consideration, even if your ideas aren’t viable structural options. A good architect will seek out a compromise, rather than dismiss your desires as impossible. You should always feel as if he or she wants to fulfill your dreams when it comes to the remodel of your home.

Trust Your Instincts

You may do all of your homework and get the right answers to your questions but still not feel like a particular architect is the right person for your job. Heed that little warning voice and keep looking. With a little patience and some more footwork, you’re sure to find just the right architect for your home renovations.

By Julie Bawden-Davis

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