BRAVAS Blog

Tips for Choosing the Right Architect

Tips for Choosing the Right Architect

When setting out to build a custom home, you should select the architect who will design your home and advocate for you during the construction process. But choosing an architect can be a daunting task. So how will you know you have chosen the right person? Where do you start? While not an exhaustive list, the ideas below can help serve as your guide as you look for the ideal architect to build your custom home.

Design a Brief

The first step in choosing your architect is understanding what you would ask them to do. Before car shopping, you might determine that you want a new SUV with seven seats and under $75,000. Doing so will help both you and the salesperson understand your goals. A design brief is similar. You want to leave room for your architect to work their magic, but you also need to communicate your goals clearly. Being able to articulate what you want from your home will help you better grasp which architects are a good fit for you.

A brief should include details about what you need the house to include, who will live there, how you like to live, and your budget. Do you entertain? Do you garden? Do you like your home to feel cozy or grand? Help the architect understand HOW you will live in your home, so they can understand what details to include on your behalf.

Seek Referrals

One of the best ways to find an architect you will enjoy working with is to get recommendations from other people you like and trust. If someone you trust had a good experience, it is a good indicator that you may as well. But a referral is only the first step; just because an architect worked well on their project doesn't mean they will be a good fit for yours.

Do Your Research

Hopefully, your design brief helped you understand your goals. Now it is time to research architects that specialize in the things that matter to you. A great architect can work in many styles, but you may be best choosing an architect that is passionate about the type of home you want to build. Look at their portfolios, and if possible, visit homes they have designed. A home may look good on paper, but once you have experienced it for yourself, you will better understand how it works for you.

Meet with the Best Candidates

Once you have refined your list, it is time to meet with the architects in person. Have a list of questions ready that matter to you, but use the meeting to get to know them as well. Are they easy to talk to? Do they seem to be listening to you? Do they seem to care about the things that matter to you? It is also important to be frank about your budget and what you hope to get for your money. Understand if they believe it is realistic, and ensure they can respect your budget. It is your home, after all.

The most important thing when choosing an architect is to do your research and trust your intuition. Designing a home is a personal experience, and there is no "best" architect for everyone. Find someone with a proven ability to do work that you like, and who you trust to protect your interests. Last but not least, enjoy the experience.

If you have questions about great architects in your area, don't hesitate to contact your local BRAVAS location. We work with hundreds of residential architects across the country and would be happy to share our experiences.

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