You’ve done all of the fundraising and gotten the community involved, and now it’s time to get down to brass tacks. Knowing how to choose an architect can be the difference between a so-so project and a church that reminds you every day that you made the right choice. The right architect can make the process of building a new place of worship a joyful process that will be reflected in the hearts and minds of your congregation. Before you go about picking out an architect, though, you should be aware of the best practices for finding one that will fit your needs. Try these 3 tips from Vanman Architects and Builders to get started:

Understand their System

Before you settle on your architect, you should know what their goals are and how they run their business. An example of this is knowing how many other projects the firm is currently undertaking. While it can be tempting to always hire the architects who have major experience, sometimes newer firms are more available to focus on your project because they don’t have as many lined up. The flip side of that is, of course, experience lends itself to timeliness and fewer mistakes. Figuring out what model works best for you is a personal decision, but one that should certainly be considered.

Request Portfolios

If you have your heart set on a firm because you’ve seen their past work, it can be tempting to forgo viewing their professional portfolio. It would do you well, though, to check it anyways. Understanding their past work and seeing their evolution is a valuable tool, as it gives you a reference as to what you can expect from the company. Viewing a portfolio can also clue you into the more industry-specific aspects of your building, and you get the chance to ask questions about features and amenities that you like before a draft is even started.

Speak to Others in the Industry

Once you’ve interviewed a few possibilities, you may still be struggling to make a decision. A great way to ease that process is speaking to others who may have worked with the firm in the past. If you know a contractor, a client, or even another architect, you can see what they know about working with the firms you have in mind. You can also read online reviews, though these should be taken with a grain of salt. One person’s perspective of a mistake or misunderstanding can sometimes appear more serious than it really is, especially when communicated online.