If you’re building a new home, commercial project, or looking to remodel your home, you’ll benefit from working with a professional and experienced architecture firm. These companies provide a range of services that will enable your dream to become a reality. Architecture firms can help you plan, design, and see your construction project all the way through to the final walkthrough. Each architecture firm, however, will have specific areas of expertise and offer specific services. Before embarking on your construction project, it’s critical to find the right architecture firm for your needs.
What to Look for in Architecture Firms
But how exactly can you be sure that you’re working with the right group of architects? Choosing an architecture firm that doesn’t align with your goals or vision can end up costing you time, money, and cause headaches. Here, we’re taking a closer look at the world of architecture firms and offering tips to help you select the right architecture firm for your project.
What exactly is an architecture firm? Essentially, this is a company that specializes in providing a variety of architecture services to their clients. Architecture firms employ professional, licensed architects and staff who help them complete their projects.
However, it’s important to note that each architecture firm is different. Some may only specialize in certain services, such as consulting or planning, while others may be able to take your project from the initial planning phase all the way through construction. Smaller architecture firms may only hire a few architects. Larger ones, on the other hand, could have hundreds of employees and serve projects all across the nation—or even the globe.
Just like any relationship, whether it’s personal or professional, you don’t want to jump right in at a moment’s notice. Choosing the right architecture firm for your project takes time, careful planning and research, and open communication.
In many ways, you can look at this process like dating. Selecting the right architecture firm should be about finding an architect who has a vision and experience that aligns with your goals. By taking your time with this important decision, you’ll end up saving yourself both time and money by picking the right one.
So, what should you be looking for when selecting an architecture firm?
1.What is your overall design philosophy?
Every architecture firm, and in fact, every individual architect is guided by a design philosophy. A professional architect should be excited to share their personal approach to architecture and design with you. In most cases, they can even offer concrete examples of their design philosophy, whether it’s from their previous projects or ones they admire. This simple question can provide invaluable insight into the mind and process of your potential architect.
2.Check out their portfolio.
To get a sense of your architecture firm’s philosophy in action, you can request to view their portfolio. Many architecture firms, especially the larger ones, will usually have their portfolios available online. If you can’t immediately find it, a simple request should offer you access to their top previous projects. This can help give you an idea of their style, experience, and aesthetic. What better way to assess an architecture firm than by seeing their projects?
3.Visit one of their projects.
Sure, a portfolio is a great way to see their experience in action. However, if you want to take it one step further, you could even visit one of their projects. An experienced architecture firm may have listings of previous projects that are open to the public so you can truly experience the building. Of course, you shouldn’t visit a private residence without permission from the residents.
4.Have you worked on similar projects before?
Experience is important in the architecture field. A little online research will reveal the years of experience for your potential architect. But, perhaps even more important, you should look into what type of experience they have. Do they focus on residential or commercial projects? Or can they do both? Is there a certain aesthetic they specialize in? Do they have expertise that would match your unique project, such as working in a specific geographic region or by using certain materials? Experience is important, but experience on projects like yours is even more valuable.
5.Ask for referrals.
If you’re in the early stages of a project, you can always seek out referrals from friends, family, or other professionals who may be working on your job. If you’ve had a friend or family member who recently worked with an architect, this is an ideal opportunity to ask for a referral or to simply learn about their process of finding the right architecture firm. If you already have a builder or design firm you’re working with, they can also point you in the right direction.
Reviews from previous clients can be a powerful source of information when you’re out looking for the right architecture firm. Client reviews offer an objective assessment of the experience that customers had working with the architecture firm. Of course, you shouldn’t let one or two negative reviews completely turn you off from a potential architect. No matter their level of service, any business is bound to have a few unhappy clients. Even if their reasons are justified, there could be several reasons why the bad review exists. Take reviews with a grain of salt. However, if you see mostly negative reviews, this could be a major red flag.
Finding the right architecture firm is essential for the success of any building project. Whether it’s residential, commercial, or a remodeling project, the right architect can ensure that your vision becomes a reality. But you shouldn’t simply rush into working with the first architecture firm you come across. Before selecting one for your building project, inquire about their design philosophy, check out their portfolio, or even visit one of their completed projects. You should also check out their website, assess their experience, and look for client reviews.