Back to the Drawing Board: 4 Reasons You Should Hire an Architect at the Start of Your Project

Starting a new building or remodeling project? Are you including an architect in the process? We are sometimes asked if an architect can make a difference in the type of support you receive, and success you have during the various steps of a project. We believe hiring an architect can save you time and money, streamline the building process, minimize any potential bumps, and provide an accurate design showing you how the project will turn out.
And while these may seem like typical reasons to hire an architect, at KONTEXT architects, we hope you'll consider one more -- the relationship we'll be proud to build with you over the life of your project, and beyond. Our team is like family, and we believe it's important to treat you as a partner and family-member while we work together to make your dream a reality. “Architects bring a vision to the very complicated process of building,” Kelly Thompson, Owner and Principle of KONTEXT architects says. "A good architect can see the obstacles in a project you may never anticipate, and create easy solutions you might not find otherwise." KONTEXT architects knows the process works, too, with many of its new projects coming from solid relationships created in the past. But to help you through the process, here's some of our suggestions for hiring an architect.

1.  Selecting the right architect for your project:
Ask to see photos of recent jobs or visit some finished projects to get a feel for the architect’s design sense and preferences.
Learn why certain solutions, finishes, or schemes were used. If you like the architect’s past work, chances are you will find common ground.
Understand you will have to talk often, and be able to work your way through issues on your project, so make sure you can build a relationship with your architect.
Look for skilled problem solvers with experience in the building project at hand.
2.  Pinpoint project questions and goals during preliminary meetings:
Who is going to use the space?
How often and at what time of day?
What can help you make the most of design?
3.  Design drawings provide direction for your project:
A budget will be prepared as the design becomes clear.
“Thorough drawings” make it easier for the contractor to accurately price and build your project
The architect’s drawings also give a first look at how the space will be transformed. Seeing an accurate rendering of the final product lets you know whether your vision and the architect’s match.
4.  An architect as your project manager:
Helps you choose materials, color, and design schemes, along with builders and tradespeople that can bring your design to life.
Suggests materials and finishes that are durable as well as beautiful, saving on frequent maintenance and replacement costs.
Supports the homeowner in filing documents required for review and approval by local building, zoning, landmark and/or historic commissions; also, obtains proposals and awards the contract for construction.

In the end, your architect makes certain the project goes according to plan, on budget, and on time. And when it comes to the quality of the work, your architect will be your greatest ally. You can count on KONTEXT architects for this type of service.