Guide to Find the Perfect Architectural Partner
There are those of us who often fashion the belief that to develop a property, hiring contractors and engineers is enough. Some may understand that an architectural plan is required for regulatory compliance but tend to think that investing in a professional architectural firm is unnecessary. The truth is that not only hiring an architectural firm is essential to the right development of property but also is quintessential. Choosing the right architectural firm for your property is a delicate matter. The process can seem intimidating and complex for first-timers. However, partnering with the right firm from the get-go maximizes your investment value and ensures a successful project. This article has been designed to guide you in finding the perfect architectural firm for you to partner up with:
Create The List:
Based on where your property is located, start making a list of the potential architectural firms available. A simple Google search is a good place to start. Google search will generate the locations, contact information, client rating, etc. of several firms and allow you to browse their websites and social media pages. This is a solid thread to follow as most architectural firms tend to post pictures or videos of completed and upcoming projects, customer reviews and breakdown of services. Additionally, these modules help you to sift out the uncertified ones from the valid, reliable firms and you can macro screen the ones you want to look into deeper.
Analyze The Portfolios:
Once the macro screening is done, you can dive deep into these firms’ portfolios. Portfolios give you an inside view of an architectural firm’s design strategy, work process, and overall measure of performance. It also tells you what genre the firm explores, if any, and the range of projects they have undertaken. Every architectural firm has a particular style of designing and doing things in general while following a certain code of conduct which may vastly differ from others. You also get an idea of the financial matters and whether your property meets the firm’s requirements or not. Based on what you are seeking in your project, you can further sift down firms that cater to your needs.
Assess The Firm’s Values and Key Personnel:
While you may think otherwise, this step is very important during the firm selection process. The core values of an architectural firm marginally affect the outcome of the projects created by it. For example, if an architectural firm values environmental sustainability above all then sustainable architectural designs will be reflected in their projects. Similarly, a firm focused on design excellence will produce alluring projects with exceptional designs. And, there are those firms that focus on both of the above and more. Furthermore, it is also essential to look into the key personnel of the firm. Their work mantra, track record, and ethics can have monumental impacts on the designing and planning of a project.
Sketch Your Own Plan:
Now that you have shortlisted a number of architectural firms whose services you would like to explore, it is time to make some phone calls. Prior to that, you should have a list of points ready to discuss with them. You can start with the size of your property that you need to develop. If you want to build then talk about building specifications. If you are looking to renovate then discuss space size, preferences, and theme. You should have an arbitrary budget in your mind and focus on particular objectives like eco-friendly design, functionality, purpose, etc. Keep in mind that price points vary depending on project specifications and the firm’s offerings. Lastly, elaborately discuss the timing of the project and let them know by when you wish to have the work completed.
Meet the Potential Firms:
Based on the phone conversations you had, you select a few firms that you would like to meet. A good architecture firm will meet you with not just the sales department but also with the architects, engineers, and legal personnel. Some crucial points need to be addressed during these meetings- Begin with the firm’s size and history. Know who they are and their work process. What are the driving factors that affect their design approach? Talk about their licenses and certificates. Then move on to your project and let them know what you seek. Assess your expectations and the actual outcome. This will automatically bring in the topic of budget constraints. Talk about the firm’s contractors and vendors. Ask about the raw materials they use and labor they hire. Have a realistic discussion about the project completion time frame. Do not forget to discuss regulatory and deed paperwork. Things will vary depending on whether you want to commit to land sharing or simply want project completion services. Lastly, discuss payment schedules and project safety. You will not be asking too much if you wanted to visit one of their completed or ongoing sites.
The Final Choice
Now that you have had a chance to get to know all the contenders on your list, it is time to make the final choice. Trustworthiness and reliability play major roles in this decision. The right architect will be the one who can provide the judgment, technical expertise, and creative skills to help you realize a project that fits your practical needs as well as your dreams. They will provide you a 3D modeling of your project so that you can see what the future holds for you and let you make necessary changes in the plan. Lastly, factoring in the project budget and charges, you make your final choice.
After having made your final choice, you sit down with the firm and hash out the Terms of Agreement in writing. This paperwork will include the scope of work, services, schedule, construction budget, architect’s compensation, and after-sales services. The deed between a property owner and an architectural firm can have many forms depending on the agreement dynamics. However, it should always be legally made and vetted by a licensed lawyer. Do not forget to include reimbursements, insurance, and other such necessary causes in the deed to protect both you and the firm from unforeseen issues.
We sincerely hope that this article has now cleared up the process of hiring and selecting the right architectural firm for you. Bear in mind that, as daunting as the process may seem, it can be approached methodically to derive the best outcome for yourself. Following the steps above may open up further avenues of concern to explore. However, in real estate, it is always better to be safe than sorry.