Arch 360

DIRECTIONS TO FIND AN ARCHITECT FOR YOUR PROJECT

[vc_row fullwidth=”yes” archi_fullheight=”yes”][vc_column][vc_column_text]For most of us, constructing a new house is once in a lifetime kind of project and because we have never done it before, we don’t usually know anything about getting it designed. We do have our aspirations and ideas and how we want the design to be but we don’t really know how to go about it or find an architect for ourselves.

 

I have gone through this exercise of having my home designed and constructed and its a hard process; not trying to freak you out or anything, just stating the reality. I want to share how I got through this whole procedure because now I realize no one gave me any suggestions about finding a good architect and if I knew few of these things, maybe I would have to go through lesser trouble and might have gotten a design which i liked more than what i got in real (not that its bad or anything but maybe I could have channelized my ideas in a better way; with some designer I get along with more).

 

So lets say you want to have your house designed and you want to find an architect.

 

Ask yourself these questions

Before contacting the architect make sure that you have answers to the following queries;

What do I actually need? You may have some ideas about design style you like and how your house will look like but take out time, jot down your thoughts, think deeply about what are important things you need, what are needs of your each family member etc. You know architects can manipulate you into changing your ideas, they don’t have bad intentions; they want to pretty the design for you and for that they might want you to let go of few requirements. It is OK to let go but you must have a list of entities/ items you definitely require and will not compromise on them.

 

How I want my house to look? Take out some time, go on a walk or drive. Look around, see built houses or search on internet. See different styles of houses you like. Take a picture or save the image. Later share with your architect so they may know your taste. If you don’t do this, they will design on their own; the design will be good but it might be what you don’t like and you can’t do anything about it later because you didn’t express yourself before.

 

When should I involve an Architect

It feels alright and makes sense to involve architect when we want to start designing of our house but actually its better to involve them earlier. When I say earlier, I mean before finalizing the location and plot for your house. They can guide you better about where to get a good plot, size of the plot according to your requirements and ideas. They will ask you a few questions and translate them to see which plot suits you. You can share your budget with them so they can help better. Architects also look into ByLaws of areas which as laymen we don’t know but ByLaws really change the dynamics of a plot and can scrap off your ideas if they do not synchronize with them.

 

How to search for architects

You can find an architect online, google architects near you or take a number from anyone who got their house designed and you liked the design. You can also check directories of bodies where architects get registered to get a valid license for working. Just type in “Governing body architect (Country name)” in google and get results. I checked a few on Yellow pages online too.

 

archistan.com is a good platform to find architects and other professionals as well. You can see posted projects by architects, find and contact the ones whose work you are liking. Whatever source you choose to find an architect, always ask in your first meeting if they are authorized to work in a particular area (where your plot is).

A lot of societies and regulation authorities accept design only from those architects who are registered with them. You can check the architect’s list authorized to work in a particular area by searching that authority’s website or asking their regional/head office. If you don’t do this, your design might get rejected by authorities and you will have wasted your money too.

 

Should I check more than one firm?

And the answer is; always check more than one firm. It’s not just about the money, the most important thing is to see how well you get along with the architect. He is going to design a space where you will be living for the next 50 years (Ok 25 maybe), you have to be completely comfortable working with him and be able to trust him completely. You should feel that he regards your ideas and that he is passionate about designing for you.

If you are not getting good vibes from him or not feeling at home and are unable to communicate your ideas with them then DON’T work with them even though they are the best architect you know about. Find another firm, rather firms! Talk to as many designers as you can before finalizing one for yourself. Other than this, you can evaluate the money factor and you can see previous works of architects to see if you like their styles.

 

What information should I request from Architect?

You shouldn’t shy asking questions from architects even if you are not sure that the question is stupid or something. I will again emphasize on the fact that the person is designing your space for the next 50 years. It’s Ok to feel stupid for a while but have a comfortable home later because you asked and cleared your doubt.

Ask architects for their previous works, you will see if you like their designs. You might find the most popular architect’s work hideous which is fine because everyone has their own taste. You don’t have to follow any trend and get your design from him; you have to find another architect whose work you appreciate and find closer to your preference.

Ask the architect to provide you with a breakdown of their fee, so you may evaluate and compare quotes from different designers. When they provide you with a design, you should ask them the reasoning behind a design like why they gave a bedroom here or why they provided a smaller study room or why did they skip the powder room, etc. Then negotiate the design, don’t feel obligated to accept the design even if you don’t like it. Keep negotiating till you are satisfied with his reasoning and the design is according to your will.

 

Identify the services you require

Architects provide multiple services. Other than design they provide interior details, electrical and plumbing designs, and drawings for submission, and approval from the authority regulating your plot area. You should ask your architect about the services they provide and decide for yourself what you need from them. You may or may not want realistic images of your house’s exterior or interior. You may want to see the location of the sockets or how your garden will be designed.

You can ask for all services they provide and then narrow down the ones you need. You can also mix and match services ie; get different services from different architects. For example get architectural design from one architect, interior designing from other and electrical and services design from somewhere else. You can base your decision on how much experienced an architect is or how much they are charging for their service or both.

I hope I am able to provide a little insight of this procedure and clear some questions you had on how to fin an architect. People should share their stories often to help others who don’t have much experience about how to get your design done. If I am able to help just a few out here, I will feel happy[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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