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Old 09.05.2017, 12:25
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Helm Helm is offline
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Re: engaging an architect

You can engage an architect by calling and making an appointment. They don't bite.

About prices, people have to understand something very clearly: making a budget for building a new house, or even worse, a renovation (which always has the danger of hiding big problems), means the architect needs to actively look into your plans, city chamber rules, and draft some first ideas.

It's not a simple put m2 in excel sheet and let it be calculated by some magic formula.

So, yes, most will ask for their quote to be paid. Because making a quote usually means already starting some work, and let's be fair, no one likes to work for free.

That said, you can inform yourself as much as possible - as in, write down your very clear wishes instead of just shrugging your shoulders and going "I don't know what I want exactly". Check for some big no-noes - like, are you even allowed to turn that attic into living quarters?

Then be as open with your architect as possible from the beginning. Don't hide surprises - we freaking hate surprises, specially the "1957 Bauverbot" kind of surprises - and ask them if they can take you, and how much it would be to get a quote. Usually the price for the quote is "forgiven" if you build with the office that gave you that quote. Sometimes the quote is for free - depending on how much the architect trusts you (ours are usually for free because our clients know each other and we base our business in fellow trust).

Give the architects the respect they deserve (I wish more people would, and stop treating us like either some Balrog or leeches), look for one that belongs to the SIA (usually hiring glorified "architects" ends in big trouble). Some smaller works can be done by the needed specialist without an architect - carpenter, tinsmith, etc - but please hire a proper professional for big jobs, or for jobs which include sensible areas, such as kitchens, bathrooms and load bearing walls.

But really, we don't bite Just knock on the door, or give a quick call. It's important to make sure they can actually take you, as some offices are just too busy atm (SPRING TIME!).
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