Imagine you’re at the planning stages of an exciting architectural project – something like a kitchen makeover, an extension or maybe even a brand new house. Chances are 100% you’re going to require a seasoned architect to help make that process proceed as smoothly as possible.
There’s just one problem: you have no idea how to go about finding an architect, let alone the right one!
Don’t worry – homify’s got the answers on how to hire an architect.
We’re nowhere near the stage where you meet up with a potential architect; however, when we do get there, you’re going to have to provide a project brief to them (specific goals and expectations from your side, approximate square meterage of the project site, etc.).
Thus, have a clear plan in place about what it is you want to achieve with your project (i.e. a kitchen extension that joins the dining room / patio and has garden views). But keep an open mind, too. Architects are creative problem solvers and will often propose various ideas and solutions for your project that you may never have thought of.
Too many people think that the construction budget is the same as the project budget. It’s not!
Your construction budget, for one thing, doesn’t include allowances for professional fees (such as the engineer) and the costs related to the design, technical documentation and statutory approvals of an architectural project. Make sure you have a clear understanding about what your construction budget is and have allowances over and above that for all the additional costs that make up your project budget.
Of course you have no idea what those allowances will be at this stage, but viewing your budget holistically before meeting with any architects will ensure you’ve got a better handle on all costs.
A large portion of your search for architects will take place online (Google, homify, etc.). But be sure to also ask for recommendations from friends, family and colleagues who recently came into contact with architects.
When searching for architects online, be sure to include specific terms related to your project (such as modern residential architect, shipping container homes, etc.) to help narrow the results.
Never base your final decision solely on the images on an architect’s website. Always read through the project descriptions as well, as well as any info about the architectural company (usually to be found on the ‘About’ page).
Remember: it takes a long time and a lot of effort for any architectural project, which means you’ll be spending lots of time with that architect. You want to make sure there’s trust and a good working relationship!
➤homify hint: All architects practising in South Africa need to be registered with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession(SACAP).
After narrowing down your list of potential professionals, get in touch. Call or email them, provide a brief about your project and what you’re aiming to achieve, and request an introductory meeting.
An introductory meeting is mutually beneficial to both parties, as it provides an opportunity to get to know one another. Here is also the chance to be upfront about your budget (never lie about that!) and to find out whether it’s achievable for what you want to build.
Don’t be afraid to include visuals with your meeting – take magazine clippings, photos and downloaded images from online (homify, Pinterest, Google, etc.) and show them to the architects. Find out how the architect works and how involved you, as the client, will be during the project.
Some choice questions to ask during your meeting include:
➤homify hint: While most architects will work for either an hourly rate or a fixed fee based on a percentage of the construction costs, it is advisable to always check this before any contracts are drawn up. Typical fees range from 5% to 15% of construction costs for new construction, and from 15% to 20% for remodelling. Keep in mind that rates vary from company to company.
At this point, you should have a wealth of information on various architects, including quotations for your forthcoming project. Analyse those quotes and make sure you understand everything – no hidden costs should jump out when it comes to paying the professionals. Always ask for clarification if anything is unclear.
With your home, you posses an asset of great personal and monetary value – don’t undermine it by hastily picking the wrong architect for the job.
It’s a fact that working with an architect whom you know, trust and like makes the entire project (regardless of what it may be) much easier and more enjoyable. The right architect will guide you right from the start, collaborate with you throughout the design process, work according to both your needs and budget, and always keep your best interests at heart.
With these facts in mind, we’d like to propose the professionals over at MNM Multi Projects, who specialise in the designing and constructing of houses and commercial building across the Gauteng region. With a mission to offer a professional, accurate and personalised service tailor-made for each individual client, their services include the following:
We think this is the perfect time to introduce 5 modern houses with floor plans that will inspire you to design yours.