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Hiring an architect or designer is an important decision that affects projects from start to finish. It is the job of an architect or designer to take an idea and turn it into a project that can be started and finished. The success of a project hinges on the professional and communication skills of the architect or designer, so choose carefully.

Architect or Designer?

Whether a project requires an architect or a branch of designer depends on the type of construction needed. Architects are professionals who almost always have a degree and who have also obtained an architect license. The licensing process is extensive and professionals with this license are often quite experienced. Designers can also be extensively experienced, but they are professionals who have credentials other than an architect license. Generally architects are necessary for projects being constructed from the ground up, while designers are more suited to remodeling existing projects sometimes with the aid of a structural engineer.

What to Look For

Finding an architect can be a long process, but it is an essential one. The success of a project depends on not only the architect’s design skills, but also on his or her communication skills. Architects must be able to effectively communicate with the project owner as well as with other professionals that may be required for the project, such as contractors. When searching for an architect, look for professionals with lots of experience. If possible, ask for recommendations from friends or other professionals that might have had the chance to work with an architect they could refer. If there is a project that you admired, consider asking the project owner, whether it is a neighbor or a professional, who the architect was on the project.

Project Interview

After a candidate for the project architect has been chosen, an interview with the project owner should take place. The initial interview to discuss the project is usually free of charge. The interview is a chance for the project owner to get to know the architect and find out if he or she would be an appropriate fit for the project and for the project owner. During the meeting several topics should be touched upon. The architect should be able to provide examples of past work if requested by the project owner. Other factors regarding the project should also be mentioned. Some discussions should include the architect’s proposed approach to the project, the time frame the architect estimates for the duration of the project, and potential problems the architect might foresee. If it is likely that the architect will be brought onto the project then fees and the project owner’s budget should also be considered.

At the conclusion of the interview if the project owner finds the architect’s approach to the project and communication appropriate and preferred, the architect may be asked to create a bid for the project. If the relationship between the project owner and the architect brought onto the project goes smoothly for both parties, the project can proceed with success.

If you are looking for more tips for your construction project, contact T.F. Harper & Associates LP, located in Austin, TX.

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