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Hiring An Architect
Written by Elizabeth Wood
Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement

Certain home building and remodeling projects reach a level of complexity that requires extreme expertise that only an architect can provide. Working with an architect ensures that your project is designed properly. Architects have the skills and knowledge to design new homes, or an addition to a home, from bottom to top. Also, they provide the plans and advice to guide your project in the right direction, achieving the results you desire most.

It is good idea to obtain several names of architects from different sources. Check the yellow pages, or ask for recommendations from people you know. Keep in mind; certain architects specialize in different areas, such as single-family dwellings, commercial, and institutional. After contacting an architect, determine if they can provide the services needed for your project and work with your budget.

Be sure to check the references that each architect gives you. You want to verify that the architect you hire has been adherent to schedules and budgets in the past. Also, it is wise to visit the projects that the architects have used as examples of their work. The key to hiring the best architect for your remodeling project is to make sure you choose one experienced with remodeling.

It is also important to find out what the fee schedule will be. Most architects will charge an hourly flat fee. However, it is always recommended to check how the fees will be determined. Also, ask if they provide probable construction cost estimates for your project.

Most importantly, be sure to thoroughly review your ideas with the architect. You may know what you want, but the architect can tell you whether or not what you want will actually work in your home. An architect can also update you about new design trends and materials. It is important to use the architect's expertise to help you develop new ideas.

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