When many people search for local businesses to help them with a home improvement project, they start with Google. For example, if you’re looking for an architect, you might do a search for “architects near me.” But Google searches can only get you so far. After you’ve found a few architects in your area that seem to be reputable, what should you do next? What should you look for, and how do you find the information you need to make the best choice?
Here’s some advice for homeowners in Long Beach who are looking for a residential architect:
Look at the Long Beach Architect’s Portfolio
Perusing a Long Beach architect’s online portfolio is a great place to start when researching potential candidates for your home remodel or new home build. Not only will you get a sense of their style, but you will also see the types of residential projects they most often complete (ground-up home builds, major home remodels, home additions, etc.).
Some architects have a certain style they like to stick with, but others are able to design homes in a wide range of styles—from mid-century modern to rustic farmhouse, and everything in between. If you don’t see the style you are wanting for your home, make sure you ask the architect if he or she is familiar with and comfortable designing a home in that style.
Read the Architect’s Blog
Reading a Long Beach architect’s blog is a great way to get into the brain of the architect. A good blog will tell you what is important to them, how they approach projects, and how you can expect to be treated as a client.
If the architect doesn’t have a blog, hopefully they at least have a detailed website that will give you some insight into the architect’s process and approach to home design.
See What Others Have to Say
An experienced architect should have many former clients who would be willing to speak about their experience working with the architect. You can read testimonials and online reviews, but you can also ask for references. When you contact a reference, you are able to ask questions and get a good idea of the type of experience and the type of results you can expect from the Long Beach architect. Do your best to ask specific questions. Generic questions will get you generic answers. Here are a few questions to get you started:
- Did you feel like you were listened to in the architectural design process?
- How was the communication between you and the architect?
- How well did the architect interpret your vision for your home?
- How did the architect react when faced with unexpected issues?
Ultimately, you want to work with someone who will design a home with you in mind. After all, your home is not just an investment—it’s the place you live and make memories with family and friends. It should reflect who you are—not just your architect’s vision.