How to choose the right architect

Transforming your dream home into reality takes time, knowledge and dedication. The right architect will deliver your unique designer home to the highest standard, from start to move-in, but finding the best fit for your luxury build could pose a challenge.

Your architect should be qualified and able to understand your vision, to create a tangible product. Great professionals will offer sound advice, but the right architect will also know when to take a step back.

Am I Looking in the Right Place?

Look to your friends and family for their recommendations, including the architectural firms that they would not work with again. This will give you a detailed starting point on which to build your list. From there, the best place to search is online.

Most reputable architects will have a digital portfolio to showcase their past projects, client testimonials and qualifications. If you’re still at a loss, consider searching your local and national architecture institute, which will catalogue leading firms and freelancers.

Are They Qualified?

The process to becoming a qualified architect is long and difficult, usually involving a Masters degree and registration with the official industry body. Managing the design of a custom home build requires extensive technical skill, knowledge and experience.

Be mindful that rich experience is not always quantifiable. In many cases, more years of practice does not equal better delivery. Instead, choose the right architect who is the best fit for your home.

Who Do They Take Care Of?

Architecture styles vary. A lot. If you choose to work with a leading architect who specialises in the knockdown rebuild, and you are planning a high-tech renovation, the end result could be different to the one you anticipate.

To achieve the best results, enlist a professional who is able to take care of your custom home design from the initial concept through to construction until you have the keys in your hand and are ready to move in.

Do Our Personalities Clash? In the early stages, you will need to decide whether you think you can work with your architect and, of course, vice versa. Remember that you will be entering into a one, two or even three-year journey, which will be made easier if you get on.

Open communication, trust and being on the ‘same page’ are what will push your build past any roadblocks and over the finish line.

Can They Deliver On Realistic Expectations?

Budget and deadlines are key parameters that every architect must work within, in order to deliver the dream home. If your architect makes a promise without having all the facts, you could end up with a costly surprise and expanded timeline down the track.

In the case of a disconnect between your budget and the brief, the right architect will clarify the problem early on, so that an achievable project scope can be agreed.

As Managing Director of Mazzei Homes, a leading Melbourne-wide custom home builder, Daniel Mazzei has a strong ambition to innovate the building experience for those looking to build new homes. © Suwatchai Plumruetai, Roman Motizov/123RF

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