Hiring an architect for a home addition design is an important decision. Even though there are some basic questions that need to be asked, sometimes you need to go a bit into the details. So, let’s discuss some important questions you should ask while hiring an architect so that you end up with the right person for the right job.
How does the design process work?
The first thing you need to ask the architect is how will the designing process work. The reason is that the designing process is usually divided into four phases and reflects the working style of the architect. Architects can have separate and different ways of managing their design processes, so there isn’t any universal principle as to how an architect should work.
At the same time, you will also need to consider if you will be using the design-build method. This means you should select an architect and builder who can work together as a team.
How long will the design take?
The next important question you need to ask is the estimated completion time for the designing process. Keep in mind that designing a home addition is not as simple and easy as it seems. There are a lot of external factors that can influence the design process. That said, it is important that you find out when the architect is going to be available and how long it is going to take.
In most cases, architects are involved in multiple projects at a time. Therefore, it is highly likely that the architect is not fully focused on your home addition and may take longer than the estimated time period to finish the task. So, open communication is a must and your architect should consider all the factors to come up with a proper completion time and date.
What experience do you have?
There is no doubt that architects are highly skilled professionals but their experience and skills vary. You will come across some that have only worked in apartments, dorms, and other smaller areas. This is why it is important that you choose someone who possesses a versatile skill set, allowing them to work without many complications.
Then again, home additions may look the same but can also differ based on the needs and preferences of the client because living room additions, master bedroom additions, and kitchen additions are all different. Furthermore, some home additions require permission and should follow the local rules & regulations. However, an experienced architect will be aware and make sure that you do not get into a problem with the law.
Therefore, go through your architect’s portfolio and ask as many questions as possible until you feel he/she is the right person.
How do you charge?
While cost should not be a primary factor when it comes to hiring an architect but can surely be confusing. Some architects charge by the hour, days, week, or month. It might also be that your architect charges a percentage of the cost of the work. This is why it is important that you discuss the fee structure so that there are no hidden costs later down the road.
Do you also cover the construction process?
As mentioned earlier, it is important that you find out how your architect will stay in the loop during the construction process. Depending on your needs and preferences, the architect may or may not be available full-time. Some projects are simply handed over to the owner at completion with little to no time spent. Meanwhile, some projects require the supervision of the architect on a daily basis.
Can you provide three-dimensional drawings?
Reading a standard two-dimensional plan isn’t easy. Although you might be able to see the exact location of the windows, doors, walls, etc. you won’t get an accurate feel as to how the design will look in the real world.
The only way to prevent confusion is by asking your architect to show you three-dimensional drawings. These drawings can be inspected from multiple angles and will help provide a detailed insight into how things will be done.
Many architects also use computer tools to create a digital version of the design that is easier to assess by homeowners.
Concluding, asking the right questions when hiring an architect is a crucial factor to achieve success. Make sure that you keep the questions above in mind and hire architects builders DC when you are satisfied with all the answers.