Architecture is one of the most fascinating professions. It requires science, technology and an eye for art. The best architects create beautiful, functional buildings.

Choosing the right professional means you will have a structurally sound building that will attract visitors.

Ensure the stability and success of your building project by choosing a high-quality and creative architect.

HAVE A PLAN

Don't depend on an architect to make all the choices. You should be able to envision an idea, or even a basic outline of your expectations. It will help you form the right questions.

Architects often have specialties. For example, one architect might excel at creating doctor's offices while another can build an addition to your home.

When constructing your plan, always consider the budget, structure's location, time and space requirements. A professional will also need to know the use, layout and style of the building. They will create blueprints and information for the project management from the details you give them.

OPTIONS

Make a list of several candidates that you collect from referrals, advertisements and research.

Keep your options open during this process. Referrals are a fantastic way to understand an architect's process.

Look around your region to find structures you like. Check to see which architect managed the project and add that professional to the list.

If you want to conduct research online, go to websites such as www.aia.org and www.servicemagic.com. Both sites match architects and clients based on various factors, including budget and location.

USE YOUR SHORT LIST

Once you have gathered your list, contact firms and give them a description of your project. Inquire if the firm is available for your project and ask or literature or brochures about their previous designs.

After reviewing their information, narrow your list to two or three candidates and set up interviews.

INTERVIEWS

Plan to spend at last an hour interviewing each prospective architect personally. Meeting them is vital to understanding how they work.

Ask questions concerning their design philosophy and approach to creating a building. Each person you meet should have a clear idea of your budget and expectations.

PAYMENT METHODS

Architects have different payment options, such as hourly rates, flat amounts or fixed fees. The most common method is a percentage of building costs. The expenses will vary according to the size of your project.

Any architect who is paid based on a percentage is getting more money for expensive projects. Be certain you agree on how you manage cost overruns and project delays. It is your responsibility to contain the costs of the project. Be sure there is clear communication between you and your prospective architect.

FINAL DECISION

Quality architects will take notes and ask questions during the interview. He or she will welcome your input during the entire process.

Ultimately, you should choose the architect who makes you most comfortable. Great architects are respectful, accommodating and practical. They show the appropriate amount of concern for the client, project and budget.

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