One of the most significant decisions you will make while building the design of your dreams is to decide on which architect or design firm can realise your vision and bring it to reality! If you choose to build a new house or are interested in renovation, you embark on an adventure. Design is the real foundation of a project, but this process can sometimes be time-consuming and stressful. 

An organised approach can help minimise total expenses and help in the completion of the project on time. Here is a list of pointers that can help your search for a firm and make your project a success! Hang in there! 

List down your requirements

Before engaging with firms regarding your project, it is essential to list your requirements, a wish list of how you envision your design. Try to understand what you are clear about and what you need an opinion on. Decide your limit for financial expenses; this might be difficult to determine at first, but stating even a few requirements will help you become clear and communicate with the designer effectively. 

You can start by asking yourself:

  • What is the reason behind your project?
  • What kind of spaces do you want?
  • Is it a residential project or your office, or is it both?
  • Do you have some references?
  • How many rooms do you want?

Such kinds of questions will help you create your wish list, which will make the designer understand your vision and needs. Even creating a mood board for your design can help a lot in the pre-conceptual stage of design.

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Communicate with potential architects or design firms

Once you have listed your requirements, you can start visiting firms or architects and discuss your ideas. Today, social media has helped us quickly connect with many design firms from around the world. You can reach out online or also ask your friends and family about reaching out to more designers. 

Look into their portfolios and previous projects to understand their style and chat with their previous clients; you can also do a SWOT analysis to finally conclude that will help finalise the firm you want to work with for your design. Not only this, you can formulate a brief for your project, and by reaching out online, you can have various firms reaching you with their proposal, which will help you decide better.

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Understand the proposal by the architect

Once you have shown the site to the architect, they will develop a systematic way to deal with the area at the ground level; you will see the 3D renders of your project and understand what the designer or the firm can bring into your project. At this time, you can ask questions to the designer about the time required or the challenges in the project. Conduct weekly meetings or meetings as regularly as possible to keep up with the design process; this will help the architect understand your opinions better and lead to a smooth sailing of the project.

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Talk about the budget

Money can generally be a topic people shy away from. Be honest with your designer about the budget from the start, and they should be realistic about what you can achieve within your budget. Describe the amount of money you have available for the project. Look into the proposal by the firm, see if the expense will do justice to the project, what is necessary, what isn’t. You can also contact the builder about early cost estimates, cost-savings, that can help you stay on budget. 

Express your thoughts on any ideas or issues you have. Developing an honest rapport with your designer will help you communicate better.

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Draft a client-architect agreement

After the conceptual stage and the finalisation of the design, if the client and firm are on the same page, you can draft a written agreement. It is the most effective technique to avoid misunderstandings and disagreements and the associated expenses and hazards during a project. A formal agreement that precisely outlines the services to be performed and the payments to be paid is required. This agreement should be signed before the architect begins working on a project. In any undesirable circumstance, this written agreement can help you resolve the issue quickly.

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While working on your dream project can be a thrilling experience, it can also be intimidating when one goes into the number of requirements, construction, or the project’s legality. When approached systematically, this lengthy process can become pretty simple. While working with an architect, ask as many questions as possible, and be sure that both parties can conveniently convey their concerns. 

A little homework done before diving deeper into the project can help the architect or the firm work faster while developing the design and will result in creating a meaningful space for your dreams!

References

Nast, C. (2021). 6 Tips for Maximizing Your Client’s Budget. [online] Architectural Digest. Available at: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/story/6-tips-for-maximizing-your-clients-budget [Accessed 7 Aug. 2021].

www.wagstaffrogersarch.com. (n.d.). The Client/ Architect Relationship | Wagstaff + Rogers Architects. [online] Available at: https://www.wagstaffrogersarch.com/blog/theclient-architect-relationship.

Woven Agency. (2019). Perfect Client-Architect Relationship. [online] Available at: https://woven.agency/blog/perfect-architect-client-relationship/ [Accessed 7 Aug. 2021].

Author

Currently, an undergraduate architecture student Khushi is a keen reader and an amateur video creator, making her way through life with creativity and her passion for learning new things. She believes that there is an artist in everyone, it is just a matter of exploring oneself.

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