A building can only be as good as its design. The architectural plan sets the tone for every other stakeholder in the building process –builders, construction managers, designers, etc. To a large extent, the plan determines if the final building will represent your ideas and desires just like your cuisine tells about the type of food you like.
Hence, the quality and experience of the architectural firm are crucial for your project’s success. One way to ensure you have the right firm planning your dream home is by asking key questions from the outset. This article reviews five questions to help you choose the right firm for your project.
Here is an all-important question that helps you separate scams from legitimate firms. Since each US state issues its license, you must ensure that the Colorado State Department approves the firm of Regulatory Agencies and the National Council of Architectural Registration Board.
Every legitimate Boulder architect should be able to provide certificates from the national and state board. These licenses suggest that the regulatory boards legally recognize the Boulder architectural firms, and they follow nationwide standards guiding the industry.
To verify the legitimacy of the licenses and firms, you can check the license verification tool provided by the NCARB. You can also verify the company’s right to operate in Boulder from the Division of Professions and Occupations public documents system. Once that company passes that phase, you can move on to ask the next question.
Architects in Boulder typically have some level of practicing experience even before getting a license, thanks to the Colorado State Board of Licensure for Architects. However, you will need more than the government to validate the company’s competence.
No company wants to say they are not good enough. Hence, getting independent reviews from several of the company’s past clients is advisable. Such appraisals will give you insight into the firm’s attitude to work and ability to execute excellent designs with the prettiest flowers.
Next, you can request the firm’s professional portfolio containing samples of its past projects. That way, you can decipher whether or not the company has the experience to show excellent performance on your project.
Besides accessing the skills and expertise, it is crucial to ascertain how fast the firm can deliver. However, the company that answers this question will determine if it can deliver within your project schedule.
What you should look for when you ask this question goes beyond quoting a timeline. You will want to assess how well the firm understands your project and its complexities. You also want to ensure that the firm factored in various challenges they may encounter while planning or executing the project.
Having this conversation upfront will save you some stress in the future. It helps you determine if the company will oversee the construction process. Involving the architectural firm in the construction process can help bring better precision when executing the plan. This is because the project manager or architect can quickly address questions and challenges that may come up when at the construction stage.
In many instances, architectural firms have specific builders and designers they have built a relationship with over time. That way, they can make excellent recommendations on the firms and individuals to hire at various stages of the construction process.
Architectural firms have several methods of calculating their fees. They may include stating an hourly payment rate, a specific percentage of the project cost, or price per unit of square footage.
Besides the primary charges, some firms may include the cost of hiring a builder and other services they will offer aside from designing a plan. While cost may not be the principal metric for choosing a firm, it is crucial to ensure you stay within budget.
Important as it is, getting the right firm for your property design is only a step towards executing a successful building project. You must also ensure the paperwork is flawless. Suspecting any shady move at this point is a signal to back off.
Hence, you must understand the architectural contract process before going into any deal with a firm.
- Define the scope of the project. You must be able to map out the desire you have for the project and how much you’re willing to spend. That will help you send an excellent proposal to the Boulder architecture firm.
- Send a project proposal letter. After defining the scope of your project, you will have to write a proposal letter to the firm stating the basic scope of the project, how you intend to pay for the service, and the responsibility of each stakeholder in the process. That includes you as the client, the contracting firm, and any other relevant party.
- Get a Letter of Agreement. The firm prepares this letter to confirm the interest of all parties in the agreement. This letter is legally binding and will require the signature of the client and the Boulder firm. Hence, it must be clear about the scope of the project, the compensation plan, and the terms of the agreement.
- Study and sign the contract documents: The contract is a comprehensive document that lays out every detail of the agreement, defining everyone’s role in the project. It is often the primary document of reference during any dispute. Therefore, it must be clear and accurate.
Ensure details are correct and clear. You may use an attorney at this point in the negotiations. The lawyer will help scrutinize the agreement document and ensure no loopholes. Clarify every detail again, and then sign the contract.
Getting the right Boulder architecture firm is one of the foremost steps in any building project. When searching for potential architecture firms to work on your Boulder home, it is important to ask the right questions. Ensure to ask about their experience with similar projects, their design process, their fee structure, and their availability.
These will help you decide which architecture firm in Boulder company will best represent your interest and deliver a design that matches your taste. Also, keep an eye on the contract process to ensure all your interests are protected.