How to Choose an Architect in Miami

There’s always a way to make your home more comfortable, better-looking, or more functional. We all have visions about improving our homes. Some might dream about simple changes like remodeling their kitchen to get more light or space, while others want to entail a complete structural change. Many people want to build an entirely new, self-designed home that matches their style. Whatever your visions and ambitions may be, your primary concern should include finding Florida home architects who can help you turn your dreams into reality.

You will find many Miami Beach architects when you start searching. Discovering one that perfectly understands your style and respects your needs may be a tricky task. 

We’ve prepared the most useful tips on how to choose an architect for home building to help you find the one that fits your needs most. 

Do Your Homework 

Before you start your search, you should think about your building plans and visions. Think about what you’re trying to accomplish. Do you need more light, or maybe more space? What will the new space be used for, how often, and by whom? How do you plan on financing the project? 

Don’t get alarmed if you can’t answer each question – that’s exactly why you’re hiring an architect. A professional will help you clarify your vision and straighten your goals. However, it’s important to think about the essentials before you start your research, so you will know what type of architect you need. Each architect has a distinct style, and while some may be brilliant with kitchen remodeling, others may specialize in building functional workspaces. 

After you figure out what sort of an architect you need, start your research and build a list of potential architects. Think about projects from your community or the surrounding area that you like and find out who worked on them. Ask friends, colleagues, neighbors, and acquaintances for recommendations, or check with the AIA (American Institute of Architects) chapter in your area. You wouldn’t want to work with an architect in Miami who isn’t a member of the AIA. 

Once you’ve created a list, call each firm you’ve listed. Talk to them about your project and ask about their availability.  If a firm says they’re available, ask for their qualifications and expertise. You may expect them to showcase brochures, photos of past projects, fact sheets, etc. 

After seeing the biographical material of each available firm, you should be able to make a selection and narrow your list to several architects you want to interview. 

The Interview  

The interview is the breaking point of your search because it will give you a chance to meet with the person or team who will potentially design and execute your project. The first thing you should keep in mind is that you will be working with this person for some time, so it’s important for you to feel comfortable around them. 

Prepare for an interview that lasts for at least an hour. It will be helpful for the interview to take place in the architect’s office so you can get a sense of where they will be working on your project. However, it’s also a good idea to interview at your house so the architect can get a good idea of what exactly you expect. Go with whichever works better for you, but make sure you allow plenty of time for the interview so you can ask everything you need to know. 

During the interview, ask for slides or photographs of past work, particularly of some projects that may be similar to yours. Ask the architect to describe how their expertise may help you achieve your goals. 

Ask Questions 

If there’s something you don’t quite understand during the interview, don’t hesitate to ask the architect for further information or clarification. You shouldn’t feel intimidated to ask a question during the interview. If you feel the architect isn’t able to explain details in a way that you can understand them, they may not be a good fit. 

Whether you wonder how to choose an architect for remodel or how to choose an architect for an extension, make sure you ask the following questions during the interview: 

Which will be your responsibilities and which will be mine? 

If you need to hire an architect to handle your entire project, you should talk about responsibilities first. Determine who will be in charge of getting permits, managing the contractors, and managing project details.

Will you be included in choosing and resourcing fixtures and finishes? 

Some people like to leave everything to the architect, while others like to choose their details. You may choose the details and let the architect take care of the ordering, or you may want to handle everything by yourself. Either version is fine, but make sure you and the architect are on the same page. 

Have you ever done a project of this type before? How long did it take and was it on a budget? 

Always ask for evidence that the architect is capable of developing and finalizing a project within a budget and without breaking deadlines. 

How often are you going to meet with the contractor on-site?  

A building or remodeling project requires coordination. If the architect is often on-site, there will be fewer mistakes and the contractor will have many opportunities to ask questions on the go. 

How do your fees work? 

It’s important to know exactly how much, when, and what you should pay for your new building project. Some charge by the project, while others charge by the hour, and there are many variations of the two. To avoid unexpected fees and to plan your budget as precisely as possible, ask about the exact way their payment process works. 

Finding an architect who can understand what you want and who knows how to turn your visions into reality may sound hard. Hopefully, we’ve made things much clearer for you with these tips and tricks. Always remember that you are free to call another architect if the one you’ve already chosen doesn’t meet your expectations once the project begins. 

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