|Cary Bernstein Architect / Hill House / © Cesar Rubio Photography
Whether renovating your kitchen to create more open space, remodeling to accommodate expanding family needs, or designing your future dream home, working with an
architect can help to increase the value of the house and the outcome of the process. You can view the AIA's Your and Your Architect guide for establishing and benefitting from relationships between owner and architect here. Below are some general guidelines to follow as you approach this process.
There are numerous resources to assist you in your
search for the architect that best suits your needs.
Small Firms, Great Projects — This publication is a useful directory
of San Francisco Bay Area architecture, landscape and design firms
with an inventory of sample projects that we hope will serve as
inspiration for your future project. An expanded online companion
is available here.
AIA San Francisco online directory — Representing a wealth of
expertise on topics ranging from sustainable design to historic
preservation, an online firm directory showcases the diverse work
and talent of more than 2,200 architects, designers and affiliated
professionals in the Bay Area. All are invited to access this directory here.
Home Tours — Every September, AIASF hosts
a Home Tours program, which offers potential clients an inside view
of distinctive homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Architects are
present at the homes and available to answer questions.
As with every job search, questions are critical
to help you determine who will be the right fit. When meeting
prospective architects, here are a few guiding factors to consider:
Experience — Ask for a portfolio of similar projects and a list of
Timeline — Establish an estimated timeline that takes into
consideration the architect’s availability, wait time for approval
process, and milestone dates for project completion.
Vision — Define the scope and sequence of the project.
Design — Prioritize your needs and steps in the design process
including how engaged you would like to be in the design process.
Budget — Determine a clear and comprehensive fee structure.
For additional information, Consumer’s Guide to Hiring an Architect,
published by the California Architects Board, provides a more detailed
list of questions to ask an architect before you sign a contract.
Download the guide at www.cab.ca.gov, or call (916) 574-7220.
When you are ready to proceed with your project and
have confirmed your architect of choice, find the appropriate contract to
solidify the agreement. You can purchase documents online or visit the AIASF office at 130 Sutter Street, Suite 600.