Selecting an Architect in Lahore: Things You Should Know
When you are embarking on a new construction project, the selection of the right architect can save you a great deal of time, money, and hassle. The person or firm you end up selecting will not only be the brains behind your project; they will essentially be the executor of your dream design. Ideally, you will want an architect who is an active listener, and a clear communicator with an undeniable passion for architectural design. A skilled architect will take into account your wish-list and then present you with a solution that fits both the budget and the project timeline. If you have no idea where to start the construction process from, it is highly advisable to gain the services of an architectural design firm in Pakistan. A competent team of architectural professionals will present you with a wide range of possibilities from which to create a truly unique design.
While a number of architects may have an impressive portfolio and solid references, that doesn’t guarantee that they are the right pick for your particular project. Here are some things to keep in mind while selecting an architect for your commercial or residential project:
#1 ARCHITECTS AND THEIR SPECIALTIES
There are a million little niches within the field of architecture. Broadly speaking, these categories include commercial design, residential design, remodelling & renovation, interior design, and sustainable design. Some architects specialize in townhouses while others specialize in masonry construction. The first step in your ‘architect hunt’ should be to shortlist the candidates who specialize in your particular type of project.
#2 AN ARCHITECT’S DESIGN PHILOSOPHY
An important detail to consider in a potential architect is their design philosophy. An architect’s design philosophy defines what they wish to accomplish in a design and how it is to be engaged with. Some categories of design philosophies include: sustainable design (environment-friendly), modern minimalist, traditional, and more. It is easy enough to overlook design philosophies as a crucial factor while interviewing architects.
One must not forget that a creative professional, such as an interior designer or an architect, leaves an indelible mark on every work project. So the next time you are skimming through an architect’s profile, make sure to slow down and carefully read their design philosophy section. This step is guaranteed to help you make the right choice.
#3 ARE THEY REGISTERED TO PRACTICE?
It is vital that clients ensure that their prospective firm is licensed and registered to provide architectural services. Steer clear of frauds by conducting a background check on your architect or architectural firm before signing a contract. After all, you’ll be trusting them with a substantial amount of money and it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
#4 PORTFOLIO REVIEW
Any prospective client must thoroughly review the architect’s portfolio before making their final choice. Start your search online and shortlist a few architectural firms that match your budget and design requirements. After shortlisting the firms, the next step would be to check out their online portfolios. In addition to reviewing their featured projects, it is recommended that clients compare the additional services offered by various architectural firms. Also, if available, make it a priority to read customer reviews posted on an architectural company’s website and social media pages. If you like what you see, go ahead and schedule an appointment with the lead architect to discuss your project in person.
#5 UP-TO-DATE TOOLS & TECHNIQUES
In today’s world, it is impossible to excel in any field without adopting the latest technological tools and instruments. While selecting an architect, make sure you are working with someone who is well-informed on the cutting-edge technologies being used in the field. Tools like digital drawings, augmented reality (AR) applications and mobile applications are in all mainstream use nowadays.
Ideally, you’d want to work with someone who has the skills and expertise to complete your project efficiently and quickly without compromising the quality. This can only be done with the help of state-of-the-art technology.
#6 ON-TIME, EVERY TIME
Assessing the work ethic of an architect is crucial, but unfortunately, there is no direct way of doing so. If you haven’t worked with an architect before, most probably you’ll have no idea whether they’ll stick to their commitment or not. One way of finding out is to contact people that architect has worked with in the past. If the architect you are considering was referred to you by a friend or acquaintance, you can probably figure out their work ethic and timeliness.
A prerequisite for all clients should be an architect who delivers architectural projects on-time and in accordance to the contract terms as well as the client’s expectations.
#7 VOWING FOR EXCELLENCE IN PROJECT DELIVERY
Nothing indicates irresponsibility on an architectural project like missed deadlines and basic errors with project deliverables. Whether it is due to simple negligence or deliberate ‘cutting corners’ by an unscrupulous contractor, any variance in the quality of materials, the overall cost of materials or services ,and the final fitting should all be accounted for. Those firms that are a bit careless their client’s wishes may ignore or overlook their demands whereas a real professional will always fulfill their promise.
So, how can one be really sure they are hiring one of the ‘good ones’? You can ask them to provide professional references and client references to gather authentic feedback. This screening is a useful way for you to quickly find out if they are worth the investment.
#8 How Much Do They Charge?
Perhaps the most important factor in this stage of the project is staying within the budget. Check if the Pakistani architectural firms that you have shortlisted are willing to work within your budget range. Be very transparent about it so you do not end up at a disadvantage. While discussing the budget with your architect, also explore whether they accept payments on percentage basis on milestone completion or do they only take lump-sum deals.
You are making a huge investment on your dream project, so please take your time to choose an architect who can help actualize your dream.