Hiring an architect for a complex project like a home remodel or tenant improvement project can be intimidating, since there is much at stake. You are essentially trusting your Long Beach architect with the design of the home you live in everyday, or the building in which you work. Not to mention the large financial investment you are making to build or improve your space.
The process you use for choosing which architect to hire should be different than the process you might use for choosing another type of service provider. If you are hiring a carpet cleaning company, for example, you might check out online reviews or ask a neighbor whom they have used in the past. In the end, you’ll likely hire the company that you think will do the best job for the price you want to pay, based on reviews, referrals, and the price they quote you.
The risk in hiring a service professional like a carpet cleaner is rather low. If the company does a poor job, you are out maybe a few hundred dollars and chalk up the experience to a lesson learned. However, if you hire the wrong architect, the consequences are much greater, making it essential that you choose the right architect for the job.
Mark Grisafe, owner of M. Grisafe Architect, was recently interviewed for a video by Best Business Profiles, and in the interview, he was able to offer some tips about how to go about finding the right architect. You can watch the entire video here, or read on to learn about Mark’s top three tips for choosing an architect below. The key, according to Mark, is knowing the right questions to ask.
How Involved Will I Be in the Design Process?
Since you know best what you want and need in your commercial or residential remodeling project, it is important that your Long Beach architect really listens to you and consults with you throughout the design process. Mark’s advice is to “Look for an architect who will take a collaborative and consultative approach to you and your project. Most architects gather some information in an initial meeting, and then create a plan without any more feedback. You’ll be happier with the result if they stay in touch throughout the project, as there are always modifications needed.”
Yes, architects are highly trained experts in building design, but that shouldn’t mean that they discount your thoughts and opinions, or leave you out of the design process.
What Other Professionals Will Be Involved in my Project?
Mark explains, “A complete project often involves multiple people, such as interior designers, to anticipate and answer the hundreds of questions that come up. Questions that come up regarding all aspects of the project, including construction, color, lighting, material selection, fixtures, and more. Look for an architect who works well with the other professionals involved in your project.”
Find out the names of a few of the professionals with whom the architect regularly works, like general contractors or interior designers, and ask them for their professional opinion about the architect you are considering hiring.
What Kind of Relationship Does the Architect Have with the Local Governing Agencies?
According to Mark, “Plans usually need to be filed and approved by various government departments. A local architect who works with, and is respected by, those who do the approvals can often get plans approved faster, and with less red tape and expense.”
Ask the Long Beach architect you are considering for your residential or commercial architecture process to explain the process of getting plans approved in your city. Their answer should tell you something about their working relationship with city officials.
Don’t rush into hiring an architect! Take your time and really get to know the work and process of an architect before you hire them for your commercial or residential project. If you have any questions about our work at M. Grisafe Architect, or if you would like to set up a meeting to discuss your project, contact us today!