Remodeling can be a hassle. When making plans for remodeling, hiring an architect can help your dream of vaulted ceilings and a new walk-in shower go seamlessly from vision to reality. Many homeowners are unsure whether or not they need an architect or a contractor. I always explain that while the contractor is the construction pro, the architect is the ace with aesthetics. Hiring both is usually the best way to go.
First, what can you expect from your architect? Architects offer a range of services, from preliminary schematic design, including development, preparation of construction documents and the administration of the agreement between you and your builder or contractor. Some projects will require other services, such as pre-design work, which includes budgeting and financing packages, as well as planning and zoning applications.
Now that you know you want an architect, how do you go about finding one? Here are a few tips:
1. Check it Out. Begin by finding similar projects, and find out who designed them. Get referrals from people you know and trust, or the local American Institute of Architects, also known as the AIA. Try to focus on firms that specialize in remodeling, and ask for references and review previous jobs. Be sure to meet the people who will work on your project. You want to be comfortable with your architect and make sure your personalities mesh well and that you’re confident with your choice. This right personality fit is just as important as the right price fit.
2. Ask Questions…of yourself and the architect. First, ask yourself what you want. How involved do you want to be? Do you want to over-see every step, or take a hands-off approach? Create a list of wants to show your architect, and then ask about their style, approach and methods. Some important questions include: What is your experience/track record with cost estimating? If the scope of the project changes later, will there be additional fees? Don’t be afraid to sound over-bearing. The only dumb questions are the ones you don’t ask.
3. Negotiate. When negotiating prices, do your research. Ask for quotes from several firms. Be sure to work out the details not only with prices, but with the service specifics. How many people will be working on the project? What hours with they work? The AIA offers standard-form owner-architect agreements that can help you begin this process.
For more information on finding an architect, please contact RE/MAX of Boulder, Inc. at 303-449-7000, or 1-800-825-7000.
RE/MAX of Boulder, Inc. located on the corner of Canyon and Folsom, is nationally and locally recognized as one of the most successful real estate offices in the industry. Nationally, they are one of the "Top 500 Power Brokers in the United States" as listed in National Real Estate & Relocation magazine. Real Trends ranked them #1 in the Nation for Closed Sales Volume for 2010. Regionally, for the 4th year in a row, the company has been named the #1 RE/MAX office in America for Single Office Closed Volume. They can be reached at 303.449.7000 or visit http://www.BoulderCO.com. Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter, search remaxofboulder. Subscribe to their YouTube channel and see videos of all their homes for sale at http://youtube.com/remaxofboulder