HOW DO YOU FIND THE RIGHT ARCHITECT?
Each architect has his or her own style, approach to design, and methods of work. So it's important to find an architect who understands your style and needs. If you have already worked with a particular architect and feel comfortable, it makes sense to call him or her again. If not, you'll have to do a little work.
A Little Homework Goes a Long Way
First, think carefully about your building needs and goals. Do you need more space? What activities will be housed in the space? How much can you spend on the project? How will you finance it? Where will it be located? Do you plan to do some of the work yourself? Don't worry if you don't have all the answers. The architect can help you clarify your goals, if necessary.
Start building a list of potential architects. Find out who designed projects in your community that you like. Get recommendations from friends, relatives, acquaintances, or the local AIA Chapter. Check to see if the architect is a member of The American Institute of Architects (AIA). Membership in the AIA means that the architect subscribes to a professional code of ethics and has access to a variety of professional and technical resources.
Call each firm on your list. Describe your project and ask if they are available to take on your project. If they are, request literature outlining the firm's qualifications and experience. If the office is unable to handle your project, ask if they can suggest another firm.
The materials you receive from interested firms might include a letter of interest, brochures, fact sheets, photos of past work, and biographical material about key personnel. Look beyond the style of the brochure to determine which firms have the right experience and capabilities for your project. At this point, you should be able to narrow your list to two or three architects you will interview.
FIND AN ARCHITECT
How and Why to Hire and Architect for your Home Building Project (PDF)
AIA Architects pursue design excellence and uphold ethical standards of practice.
Use the Firm Directory to find an AIA Architect at a firm near you.