Five things architects want you to know about what they do
1. Architects want and need for you to participate in the design process. It is your project, your expectations and your budget. Nils Finne of Coates Design, Bainbridge Island, Washington, has developed a program on "How to Select and Work with an Architect." The program focuses on setting clear and concise expectations between the client and the architect.
2. Architects travel. Many architects say more than 50 percent of their work is for out of town clients. Think in terms of finding the "right" architect for your project.
3. Architects are creative. Ask them who inspires their design; who their design role-models are. This helps the client gain perspective and insight into the architect's design.
4. Architects can lead a team of engineers and contractors, or architects can be a member of the team. The two main types of project delivery methods in which an architect may be involved are: 1) design, bid, build; or, 2) design build. The first delivery method has the architect as the project lead. The second delivery method involves the contractor as the project lead. Both methods have benefits and it depends on the type of project the client is pursuing as to which method is best.
5. Architects reduce the risks of "doing business." An experienced, licensed architect-especially on a large project-can help the client save time and money. Hiring an architect is often the best and wisest option compared to hiring someone without design experience or trying to do-it-yourself.