How to Hire an Architect: What qualities to look for

Stairs which have been created using an architect

Hire the right architect for optimal results

When it comes to renovating part of your home, unless you are a qualified architect, it is highly recommend that you get in touch with someone that is. One of the key benefits of hiring an architect is that they will have the skills, knowledge and experience to translate the ideas in your head into an accurate and functional design that can be delivered by a team of builders and designers. When it comes to hiring an architect there are a number of things you will need to consider. Below we have outlined some of the key qualities to look for in a good architect. It is important that the architect you hire has excellent drawing skills. The better their drawings are, the easier it will be for you and the contractors you’ve hired, to understand them.

Superb drawing / sketching skills

It is crucial that the architect you choose to work with has superb drawing and sketching skills. Whereas some architects like to sketch by hand and then translate it into digital form on their computers, others like to work digitally from the start. It does not really matter which way they approach the drawing stage of your architectural plans, as long as the drawings they produce are accurate and of high quality. To get a better idea of the drawing and sketching skills, ask to see samples of their work.

A good eye for design

Although you may have plenty of ideas about how you want your home to look, you will need to choose an architect that has a good eye for design. As an architect, it is then responsibility to keep up to date with the latest design trends. They should know what is on-trend, as well as types of timeless designs that will never go out of style. A good architect will also be able to translate design ideas onto paper and find a way to explain them in layman’s terms for clients, which brings us nicely onto our next point.

Excellent communication skills

Whilst the quality of their portfolio is of utmost importance, it is also important that the architect you choose has excellent communication skills. During the design process they will need to discuss your needs and requirements with you, whilst also putting across their ideas. If they lack communication skills, you will struggle to gain confidence in their abilities because you will not feel like you are on the same wavelength as them. Excellent communication skills also means keeping you updated throughout the process to ensure you feel involved and valued.

Good technical knowledge

It is important that your architect is very knowledgeable of their discipline. Not only do they need to be able to create a floor plan for your home design, but they also need to be able to successful integrate other elements in regards to mechanics, electrics and structure. A good architect will also have vast knowledge of various different building materials and will be able to provide tailored advice based on your needs and requirements.

A problem solver

All good architects need to possess problem-solving skills. This means that they will be able to quickly identify any issues during the design process and come up with feasible solutions that address the issues. If you are wondering how you can find this out about your architect, simply ask them to provide examples of times when they have had to solve design problems and how they came up with solutions. Asking them this question will put them under pressure, but that is certainly a good thing as it will enable you to see how they act and whether they are able to deliver the answers you are looking for.

Collaborative skills

Unless your architect is some form of super hero, they are going to need to work with a team of people in order to complete your renovation product. Therefore it is essential that they are a good team player. Not only does this mean cooperating with other people you have hired such as builders and interior designers, but it also means delivering their work on time (so that others can do their jobs) and communicating efficiently to ensure that everyone is working towards the same goal.

A business brain

Whilst it is essential that you choose an architect that has excellent design skills, it is also important that they are a good business person. Although it may be the actual design work they enjoy doing the most, they cannot afford to put the business side of their operations on the back burner. You need to know that they are a good business person, before you decide to work with them. It is important that they are reliable, professional and can deliver what you require within your designated time scale.

Passionate about design

Last but certainly not least, one of the most important qualities to look for in an architect is that they are passionate about the work they do. If they are passionate about design, they are more likely to put thought and effort into your project, which will lead to the quality of results you are after. When meeting with your architect you should be able to tell if they are passionate about their work and interested in your project, as they will ask numerous questions to ensure they deliver exactly what you are looking for.

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