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Two keys to hiring the right architect for you

Welcome to another tip from the Key to a Successful Construction Project series, where Sebastian shares its advice and lessons learned from 70+ years of building high end residential estate homes.


“If you make listening and observation your occupation, you will gain much more than you can by talk.” –Robert Baden-Powell

Listening is one of the most important but least mentioned skills in architecture. It can be tempting to hire the architect with the most awards or the recent Architectural Digest feature, but if you meet with her or him and don’t feel rapport, you won’t be happy with the project.

A great architect will listen to your ideas, your wants and needs and will then ask questions to clarify that understanding. If your wish list can’t be accommodated, the great architect will offer alternative ideas to meet your goals.

Here’s another bit of advice from our Keys to Successful Construction projects, related to the architect-client relationship: Hire an architect who has designed several houses in the style you love.

Most experienced architects have developed a particular aesthetic and broad design style that they enjoy creating and have honed for years. Some excel at sleek modernism, while others are proud classicists.

Love Mediterranean? Tudor? Mid-Century Modern?

Make sure that you view your preferred architect’s portfolio to determine the level of experience in that design style. Having designed multiple homes in your preferred style helps the architect hone his or her skill in that particular style, knowing how to apply style-specific features to suit your unique space.