Commercial Architects Near Me
All commercial building projects should be handled by a commercial architect. Such projects are too important and there is too little room for error for them to be trusted to amateurs. The good news is commercial architects near me are not all that difficult to find in today’s advanced world. However, the process of finding the perfect architect for a job is very particular.
Why find commercial architects near me
Construction is not just about creating a cool looking building. There’s a lot more to it than that. For example, the building must function properly, it must meet safety regulations and it must abide by building codes and zoning restrictions. Your average Joe Schmo won’t have the knowledge, resources, or tools to meet the specifics required by the city and the client.
Qualified, reputable commercial architects near me will have all that is needed to get a building to pass all requirements. They will also possess the skillset to create a precise design that meets and even exceeds the expectations of a client. The creativity and in-depth knowledge of architects enable them to use certain design elements to put the cherry on top of a project.
It is important to understand that commercial buildings differ substantially from residential buildings. Residential buildings are typically uniform, requiring similar design features, layouts and plumbing. Commercial buildings range in all sorts of sizes and various types of businesses will require different design and construction aspects.
Consider the creation of schools, hospitals, retail stores and government buildings. Each type of building has very little in common with the others. This makes finding the right commercial architect for a specific project that much more vital.
How to find the right commercial contractor near me
Conduct the necessary research
All you have to do is search online for a “commercial architects near me” and you’ll be introduced to all sorts of helpful websites and forums. You’ll be able to access reviews and ratings for nearby architecture firms and you can visit the websites of highly rated firms. Resources such as HomeAdvisor and the American Institute of Architects will be very beneficial to your search.
It never hurts to ask around either. Friends, family members and co-workers may have the inside track on a good architect. Maybe they’ve dealt directly with an architect or perhaps they read something positive about a particular firm. Every little bit of input helps.
You could also visit businesses that resemble yours or business buildings that share the vision you have for your building. Ask the owners who they used as a commercial architect. They may not have the slightest clue, or maybe they have all sorts of information on the architect and are willing to share it all with you.
Conduct an interview
Like any business, experience speaks volumes. Would you trust a company with 25 years of experience over a company with 5 years of experience? The answer is probably yes. Other factors do of course come into consideration, but there is not a more telling quality than experience.
When speaking with your potential commercial architect, ask how long the firm has been in existence and ask how much its grown. In addition, ask to see examples of completed projects. You can compare those projects to the one that you have in mind. In many instances, you should be able to find an architect who has laid out buildings that exact yours.
Keep in mind, the interview process is just as much about breaking down the candidate as it is the candidate selling his/her company. It’s just like a job interview. The interviewer wants to learn specific things about the interviewee, and the interviewee wants to prove to the interviewer that he/she is the right person for the job. Exhaust all of your questions so you can know for sure whether or not an architect is ideal for the task at hand.
List of questions to ask commercial architects near me:
- How long have you been in business?
- What kind of projects do you specialize in?
- Do you have examples of completed projects?
- Would you be the primary source of communication throughout the project? If not, who would be?
- Can you give me a general idea as to how much my project will cost?
- How long might the project take?
- What are the steps in completing the project?
- What problems typically arise with this type of project? How would you go about solving said problems?
- Can you provide proof of licensing and insurance?
- Can I get a list of references?
Make the most of provided references
Make no mistake about it, REFERENCES ARE KEY. Anytime you get the opportunity to speak to someone that was at one point in your shoes, capitalize on that opportunity!
References can tell you everything you need to know about the communication process and overall customer service in working with the architect. They can tell you about any issues that arose throughout the project and how the architect dealt with them. Also, they can provide you a timeline for how long their project took.
Ultimately, you would be getting free information that is essential to your final decision. References are especially important for commercial buildings, as they can detail both the structure itself and the effect the structure has had on business flow (for both employees and customers).
How does the creation process work from beginning to end?
From the perspective of commercial architects near me, here’s an overview of the step-by-step process…
Before anything is drawn up, a commercial architect will inspect the lot for the new building. This will help with spacing and it will help the architect develop an initial plan. Architects can also be called upon to renovate or remodel buildings. If partaking in a renovation project, the architect will determine the capacity of the project (how much can be done). He/she will weigh the costs of renovation compared to new construction.
Also, this stage of the project involves a meeting between the architect and client to discuss an overview. Each party will discuss the terms and specs. Once everyone is on the same page, and once the project is deemed feasible, the parties will move onto the next step in the process—putting the plan into action.
Now, the commercial architects near me get to work!
All documents relating to building permits and zoning will be obtained. The necessary clerical work will be taken care of by the architect to ensure the contractor has the green light to build whenever the time comes to begin building.
The commercial architect will review the project plans (as previously discussed with the client) and determine a timeline and budget. This is also the stage in which design sketches are created and proposals readied to discuss with the client.
The expertise weighs on side of the architect; however, it is the client’s business that is at the forefront of the plan. Thus, the client-architect relationship is so important. It is important that the architect be a good listener and be willing to adapt and adjust based on the client’s feedback. The best results will come from good communication and mutual decision making.
If the input of an electrical engineer, interior designer, or heating and ventilating expert is needed, the architect will get those parties involved. Architects are the mastermind of the structure and the overall layout; though, they may need some guidance on internal facets of the commercial building.
Next, the commercial architects near me will meet with a member of the city’s building department to go over the scope of the project. This is a very detailed presentation. Topics that will be discussed include:
- building codes
- design elements
- floor plans
- contributors to the project
It’s not so much words that enlighten involved parties to the project; it’s more so illustration. That’s the fun part about being an architect, we get to show off all of our hard work through images, models and diagrams. It’s easier to get a point across through illustration, right? Plus, clients will be more satisfied from seeing what their building will look like as opposed to being told what it will look like.
All of the schematics will be reviewed in the final presentation. The architect will discuss every aspect of the design and he/she will also suggest ways to improve the design. That is, if the budget will allow for it.
Once the architect gets the go ahead from the city, it’s time to start construction.
Here, the baton is passed to the general contractor who will be overseeing the construction of the project. If the client needs help finding for and bidding on a contractor, the commercial architect will be there to assist.
Once a contractor is hired, all parties will meet before the pavement is laid to discuss any closing details. This is an open space for any final questions. As long as everyone is on the same page, the project will proceed into the construction stage.
Don’t think that commercial architects near me just fade into the sunset. He/she will actually stay on call (and occasionally on site) throughout the duration of the project. The architect should be notified of any related problems that come about. If revisions are necessary then the architect will make them. In addition, your commercial architect will maintain communication with other workers who are involved in the project, such as the interior designer and mechanical engineer.
The end goal is to create a commercial building that the client is completely satisfied with. Also, a building that is safe and functional. It’s a detailed and lengthy process. With that said, all you have to concern yourself with is hiring the right person for the job. As long as you do the work up front, your chosen commercial architect should take control and lead the way. A combination of the architect’s expertise and your measured input will get you the result that you desire!
Give DBA Architects a call to get the process started. We’ll check all the boxes! You can take a look through some of our work by visiting our website—www.dba-architects.com. We work on both commercial and residential projects. Our expertise in master planning and our strive towards perfection are what has helped us thrive for over 25 years!
For additional input on both residential and commercial architecture, please see our company blog.