Choosing the perfect architect for your project in Minneapolis, Minnesota can be challenging because the options abound! Our beautiful city is packed with incredible architects and the buildings that they have created that bring both practicality and aesthetic beauty to Minneapolis. Your project should be no different.

You can start your journey to finding an architect by checking out the American Institute of Architects. This database gives you access to architects in your area, along with examples of their past work. With over 90,000 members, you’re sure to find a firm that provides both the quality and specialization that you’re looking for. You can also access information there about the top trends in the field, as well as programs and grants that could affect your pursuits.

Next, you’ll need to start scheduling face-to-face meetings. While speaking on the phone can be more convenient, it’s harder to feel real, professional chemistry with someone you can’t see. Set aside a day or two to meet with several firms. Present your plans and ask to see their portfolios. You should also inquire about initial thoughts on budgeting and timeframe. Focusing on design/build firms will also grant you the opportunity to meet with some of the in-house contractors who will be working on your project, whereas a more traditional firm may not even know who would be working on your building until the process starts. For more information on speaking with an architect, check out one of our recent blog posts, Communicating with an Architect.

Once you’ve narrowed your list down to a few good candidates, sit down with all stakeholders and see what they’re feeling. It’s imperative that you’re able to work with the person that you hire, as you’ll be deeply involved in every step of the process right along with the architects and contractors. If you’re not comfortable being frank, honest, and professional with a particular person due to conflicts of personality, it’s not a good idea to hire that firm. The same goes for anyone else who is going to be working on the project. Avoiding tension and tumultuous communications should be a major goal in this process.

Finally, you’ll start to draw up a contract. Be sure to read the contract in full, so that you understand exactly what you’re getting, when and how much it is going to end up costing you. If the contract includes items that you have no agreed to pay for, there needs to be a discussion about why they are present. If the budget plan is already exceeding your limits, there may be a need for further negotiation. Both parties should walk away from a contract-signing feeling confident and comfortable working with the other person. For more information about each step in the process, we’ve provided a checklist for hiring an architect.

At Vanman Architects and Builders, we are passionate about creating projects that add to your personal happiness and the happiness of all those that you serve within you building. We have over 60 years of creating beautiful additions to Minneapolis and would love to help your project become a part of the beauty that is our city.