Trying to Find an Architect? Read This First

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“Find an architect” is the first task on the list for many NYC home renovators. Choosing an architect isn’t a task that should be taken lightly. A lot of thought should be put into your selection process before you make your decision.

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“Find an architect” is job number one for NYC homeowners about to embark on home renovations. Savvy homeowners understand that if they’re simply making minor cosmetic changes like changing out countertops or painting cupboards, they merely have to hop over to Barnes & Noble, pick up a For Dummies books, and have at it.

If, on the other hand, they’re making changes that will alter the very bones and physical layouts of their residences, they know that hiring an architect is an absolute must. Residential architects are highly educated professionals who help their clients create the custom home layouts that best support the way those clients live in their residences. In addition to helping you design your space, they will show you the critical “under the hood” work needs to be done in order to make your dreams a reality.

Walking into your first meeting with your architect may seem a bit daunting, but knowing what to expect and what you should be thinking about could save you a lot of heartache down the road.

Vintage architect

Image Source: Flickr/Garrett Wade

Do Your Research to Find an Architect You Trust

You’re going to be working with your architect on a project that’s near and dear to your heart: your home. Choose someone who you trust and who doesn’t mind remembering to make you comfortable every step of the way.

“You want to go with a competent professional, someone you feel confident will deliver the project on time and on budget,” says architect Talia Braude, partner at New York City’s Braude Pankiewicz Architects. “Ask about their process and how they provide checks and balances for achieving the above.”

Pick Someone Who Respects Your Vision and Goals

You may have all the respect in the world for an architect who knows how to make a home look like a traditional brownstone on the outside and an Eichler on the inside, but if the very thought of that happening to your home turns your insides to jelly, move on.

“Aesthetically, your personal style and lifestyle choices should influence the way they design your home — which means you may love some of the work more than other projects,” says Braude. “In fact, I’d worry if all their projects looked the same; it would say that their personal style overrides their clients’ tastes and needs.”

Work with Someone You’re Completely Comfortable With

Your architect is the person who will be working very closely with you for the foreseeable future. Hence, you need to approach choosing an architect the same way you approach the creation of any vitally important relationship in your life.

Says Braude, “I think two of the most important things to consider when choosing an architect are a shared aesthetic sensibility and a connection that makes you feel you’ll be comfortable working together on an intimate project.”

“You should feel comfortable chatting with your architect about your life,” she adds. “You should feel confident that you will enjoy collaborating with them; it’s a commitment and a personal project, so you want to like them. The process can be a lot of fun if you have a good team in place. And don’t be surprised if design sessions sometimes turn into therapy sessions!”

Let It Go

Remember: At some point in the process, you’re going to have to “let go, and let architect”! Your architect is there to help you recognize your vision. If you’re working with someone you trust, you can do that.

Main Image Source: Flickr/Matt Green

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