Tips for Hiring an Architect to Design Your Business’s New Flagship Office
If you’re looking for tips on hiring an architect, then you’ve already made the decision to use an architect to help design your new office. Hiring a good architect will be one of the best decisions you can make. A professional and well-trained architect will anticipate your needs, find innovative solutions to problems, and have the knowledge and contacts to help you at every step of the process. They are the person that will have the biggest influence on how your project turns out.
Below, we’ve compiled some top tips to help you select the best architect for you. Whether you’re building a small office for a close-knit company, or you’re a large multi-national looking to build something innovative, these tips will help you make the right choice.
Performing Due Diligence when Hiring an Architect
When you’re deciding who to contact, a referral is always the preferred option. This means someone you know has already used their service and been satisfied with it. If you don’t know anyone who has used an architect, then ask builders you trust for referrals. Building contractors often work closely with architects and will probably have experience with several local ones. Their first-hand experience could provide invaluable insights. There can be some conflicting advice about the type of professional you should hire, which is covered more in this guide, but a good architect will be the best person to make this judgement.
Whether you contact an architect because of a referral from a colleague or you just pluck their name off the Association of Consulting Architects website, spending a little time looking at their portfolio and asking the right questions can provide you with invaluable insights into whether they’d be a good fit for you or your project.
Check out an Architect’s Past Projects
An architect’s portfolio can give you an insight into any style or solution they seem to favour. The more variety between the projects the better, as this means the architect is not only experienced, but is probably good at turning their client’s vision into reality. Ask questions about the projects you like and pay attention to how they respond. Are they proud to show you their work? Do they get passionate or excited about the project?
Ask the Architect the Right Questions
There are several things you can ask in order to start to build a rapport and see if they are a good fit for your project. It can feel a bit like an awkward job interview when asking probing or difficult questions, but you’re investing a considerable amount of time and money into this project, and an experienced architect will welcome the questions.
Potential questions could include any of the following. Approximately what timescales would you foresee for building work and planning permissions etc.? How would you approach this project? Do you see any potential obstacles or red flags with what I’m trying to create? How do you calculate and charge your fees?
Architects are professionals that have completed years of training and are usually passionate about their chosen profession. A good architect will welcome all the scrutiny and questions, as they’ll be proud to show off their work and provide answers.