Select the Best Architecture Firm
for a Great Experience
- Create a wish list. Separate needs from wants and prioritize them.
- Understand the differences of opinions between key decision makers – these can often be resolved through creative solutions and therefore should be discussed openly. Good architects actually enjoy these design challenges and working through the alternatives.
- Remember that you should take the time and use your resources to do your project right the first time. Seriously consider the trade-offs of getting more for less. It’s generally better to tackle a more modest project completely than to spread your resources too thin. We’re happy to prepare a phased design so that you can deliver the whole integrated solution over time, but within your budget constraints.
- You get what you pay for – be suspicious of a very low bids or estimates. Some firms generate low budget estimates based on unrealistic allowances or sub-optimal finishes and systems so that you commit to a project. Avoid the disappointment of having a budget that does not reflect the quality of design, fixtures, finishes and systems you have in mind.
- Establish a realistic budget. Most people, regardless of the architecture firm or contractor, have the tendency to add or change elements of their project during the construction phase. As a result, it is best to reserve an additional 10-15 percent of the estimated cost to cover any changes you may choose to make during construction, and to correct hidden existing conditions which may require additional work.
Archaeon is committed to mitigating unforeseen costs by providing our clients with a very detailed budget estimate at the beginning of the process and supplying your contractor with an equally detailed set of drawings and specifications for construction. As the property owner, you should always insist that an architect provide you with a detailed budget estimate at the outset. You should also be sure to ask for an average rate of overrun as well as client references.
- Use an experienced, licensed architect if you want to ensure a successful project from planning to completion. Architects are trained in planning, design and engineering, while contractors are skilled at construction. Contractors rarely possess the same creativity and skills that are proven to maximize the quality while minimizing overruns. More importantly, an architect works as your advocate with the contractor throughout the construction process.
- Ask prospective architects for references with projects similar to the one you are planning. Call the references, and ask a lot of questions. We’ll provide a list of suggested questions if you prefer.
Interested in our architectural services? Contact us today.