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Architects are more than just designers who draw pretty pictures of your house or office building. The fact that you’re reading this shows that you have an idea of what an architect Cheshire does, but there’s a lot more to it than just creating the design of your dreams. Before you start shopping around for the right architect to work with, make sure you understand how to get the most out of your architect and how they can help you realize your vision. Here are some tips on how to do that.

Select the right architect

Choosing an architect is one of your most important business decisions. They will be directly involved in every aspect of your building project, and that means trusting them with your design, budget, schedule and end product. Here are some questions you should ask: Do they have a portfolio that represents my needs? Are they passionate about my project or do they have a ton of clients? Can I meet potential candidates in person? What experience do they have? Can I speak with past clients?

Understand the Costs and Risks

When you’re considering hiring an architect, you need to understand what that means in terms of time and cost. Keep in mind that it’s not just money that’s being spent—it’s also your time. Make sure you get a clear picture from your architect about his or her process and make sure you know how long various parts will take, what additional services might be included (like planning commission approval), and how changes might affect your schedule. It’s easy for any project schedule to go off track without proper communication about delays or unexpected problems. It’s important to stay on top of things with regular updates and shared calendars so there are no surprises or misunderstandings down the road.

Decide Whether You Need an Architect at All

While an architect is often a key member of a construction team, there are plenty of jobs that can be done without one. For instance, if you’re building a shed or tool shed in your yard, you probably don’t need an architect—unless it’s going to be complicated. Perhaps you want something more than just a roof and four walls.

Spend Time with the Architect

What exactly does an architect do? You may assume your architect designs your building, but that’s just one piece of a larger process. Your architect should help you take control of your project from start to finish and make sure every aspect is under control. To ensure you get what you need, set aside time at various points in your project for key conversations. You’ll want to ask questions like: What are some ways we can save money while preserving aesthetics? How can we create flexibility if plans change mid-project? What do I need to look out for on my end and how can I communicate my vision effectively? Answering these questions will allow you—and your architect—to form a stronger working relationship that will lead to a more successful outcome.

Always Ask Questions

It’s important that you, as a client, feel comfortable voicing any concerns or questions you may have during your project. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Chances are, your architect has seen hundreds of designs and can point out small design flaws or potential snags with ease. The bottom line: You hired an expert for a reason—use him or her!​

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