…a thought on picking an architect

Just like anything else in life, there are a lot of different architects out there.  Choose the one that’s right for you

So there’s an old saying that goes something like this…’Life’s too short to XXXX (drink bad beer/wine/coffee, worry about stupid things, etc.)’.  To me, this phrase has always been about making choices based how much they will enrich your life.  Try not to do something ‘just because’, do it because it really enhances the quality of your life, work, and play.

I have had several people ask me how to go about selecting an architect and one of the first things that I always tell them is that you should select someone that you like and can trust.  In my career, I have run into a wide range of people that share my title of ‘architect’.  And, just like beer, wine, coffee, and cheese, they are all over the map in terms of quality, cost, and flavor.

There are a lot of things that need to be considered when looking for an architect. Capability, capacity, and cost of services are all legitimate standards for which to judge a selection.  You should, of course, select an architect that is qualified to do the project that you are setting out to do. With that said, your relationship with an architect will be one of the more important factors in getting the best results out of any project. An architect that is a true advocate for you will go well beyond the standard call of duty when it comes to getting you what you want on a project. The ‘life is too short…’ adage applies here in terms of payback on investment. I’ve always tried to make quality a primary trait of any selection.  Sometimes that means spending more at the beginning to get better results in the end.  The design teams’ fee is normally a small portion of the overall cost of the project.  Get a high-quality team that you trust and I can almost guarantee that it will save you money and yield superior results.

Selecting an architect should really be about finding someone to share your dream with.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a bachelorette, a family, a corporation, or a city, you will get the best results from any architectural project when you can maintain an open, honest rapport with your architect. When an Architect and Client can dream together on a project, great things can happen.  (For the record, it’s not lost on me that that previous sentence sounds like it should be made into a cheesy meme)