How to Pick the Right Architectural Firm for Your Commercial Build

Whether it’s an existing workspace facelift, a brand new buildout, or new a construction project, you likely have ideas of where you want your next project to go. The problem is, without a skilled architect, it’s going to be very difficult to make that happen. Architects undergo extensive training to be able to seamlessly integrate structural beauty with integrity and function in order to make your ideas a reality. As you evaluate possible architects, keep these considerations in mind before making the hire for your next job.

  • Identify your goals – Before you can begin evaluating architectural firms, you need to have a solid understanding of what you want to achieve with your build. Gather ideas and input from collaborators in the workspace and put together a final wish list of goals. Consider challenges with the existing space and how you want the new build to function, how many employees and potential customers the new space must accommodate, and what required equipment will need to be housed in the building. Once you’ve identified your existing pain points and future goals, you can define the program.
  • Before beginning to meet with architectural firms – Once you know what you want the end result to be, it’s a good idea to know what aspects you’re flexible on. Do you have a specific aesthetic you need to adhere to, or a tight timeline? What about particular operational needs such as a sound-proof conference room? Your architect will come up with the creative solutions to your needs, but having a pre-defined program will get you the best results.
  • Experience and client referrals – When developing a short list of potential firms, it’s useful to ask around for recommendations. Your general contractor may have some good recommendations. You should also review a firm’s experience and closely evaluate their past work. Does their style jibe with yours? The American Institute of Architects (AIA) has a firm directory you can search for local AIA members.
  • Is there chemistry? As with any professional you hire, you want to be sure you will have a good working relationship with them. After all, you will be spending innumerable hours working with the architect and firm. Make sure you understand specific things like how much they charge and what additional services they provide (and at what cost).

Your architectural firm will also be working very closely with your general contractor, so it’s helpful if they also have good working relationships. At Seacoast Construction, we value the partnerships we’ve formed with local architects – it’s truly a team effort to bring a build to life. If you have questions about what to look for in an architectural firm, give us a call at 786-433-8740. We’ll be happy to answer any of your questions.

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