Tips for Selecting an Architect

By Anouska Linz
Whether building a new home or renovating, the architect is going to be an extremely valuable asset during the process. Many people jump straight in and choose an architect without fully understanding what the architect’s role is. 
Architects are responsible for creating the design for your home and then work with the builder throughout construction to ensure the finished house is what you imagined and is within the budget.
In order to successfully build or renovate a house, you will need to have a good relationship with your architect that involves strong communication. Therefore, the first steps of choosing the right architect are critical in order to achieve success.
There are several points you should consider when choosing the right architect for you:
1. Design Style
There is no point choosing an architect who has a great portfolio, but no experience with the design you like. Your house will have a better chance at succeeding if you can both clearly imagine and understand the design. This can be achieved by looking at the architect’s portfolio as well as discussing your goals for what the finished product should look like.
2. Experience
This is the best way to get a feel for the architect’s quality of work and design style. Ask the architect to provide samples of passed projects. They may say they will be able to create the design you want, but their portfolio will give a realistic indication of whether they would be able to handle your design idea.
3. Qualifications
Checking qualifications are extremely important before deciding on an architect. They need to be registered under the Architects Act. The best way to check an architect’s qualifications and training is through the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) database.
4. Work Approach
You may assume that the architect will allow your input in every aspect of the designing process. However, this may not be the case for all architects and can result in a large amount of difficulties from start to finish. Do you know what their budget or time frame is? How will they give you the designs? Are they open to your feedback? How do they communicate with other consultants on the job?
5. Fees
Although this shouldn’t be the main factor when deciding on an architect, you should still take it into consideration. Speaking with an architect about what fees are involved will give you an idea of what you can expect to pay at the end. Some architects may charge extra if changes are made during the building process, so to avoid any nasty surprises, take the time beforehand to speak with the architect.
6. Personality
Construction and renovations are not always a short term commitment, so it is not only important to choose an architect with experience and skills, but also someone you will get along with well. The last thing you will want is to be butting heads at every decision along the way. 
Choosing the right architect is an extremely important decision. As they are responsible for several tasks throughout the construction process, it is vital that you find someone who you can communicate with easily and who understands what you need.  Don’t forget to take the time at the beginning to compare a few different companies to see which would fit you best.  

Anouska Linz is Manager, Online Sales at State Custodians and has over 10 years’ experience in financial services, both in broking and banking. Holding a bachelors degree in accounting, Anouska quickly discovered a love for mortgage lending and assisting people to achieve their home ownership goals. She leads a team of highly experienced lending specialists who are passionate about finding lending solutions which result in real wins for the customer. She is also a massive netball fan.

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