As the client, what do I need to know about initiating the project?
Initiating a project (aside from all the legislative criteria, i.e. Zoning information etc.) my advice to client’s is, write a detailed descriptive brief of your needs & expand upon this by adding into the narrative everything you believe you’d like. Be adventurous but be realistic too. Also, collect a few pictures of what you like (interiors & exteriors): use books, obtain magazine cuttings, images of what you like, detail off the internet, photos etc. to include into the description you are creating for your architect/ designer to read, assess & give you feed back upon.
This is your ‘Brief’, the very foundation of the design process, (think of your budget too), but don’t let this limit your ideas; a good architect/ designer must pioneer ‘new’ methods to deliver upon your ‘dreams/ vision’ into a ‘sculptured building or development’ that you are satisfied with!
When (as the client) will I know I'm choosing the right pearl of a 'designer' or architect's firm to execute my project?
Architects & designers are a unique bunch of ‘professionals’ in that they ordinarily design your home with their ‘personal flair’, have a few meetings with them in the preliminary stages, to get to know them a bit better, afore you ‘commission’ them to your project. Also consider the below;
(and that leaves much to question regards to how they’d see & potentially utilize your budget, to keeping the controls on your project during construction phase, the site/ project management etc).
How, in 'commissioning' an architect or a designer, am I (as the client) to expect they can run the project from start to finish?
Some architects & designers specialize in design only. Others in the delivery of construction documentation & drawings. Yet others prefer to hand over site supervision to another or a project manager.
With all the years of experience added to my portfolio, I must say, the ‘all-rounded’ expertise I gained, didn’t happen overnight.
In my twenty years plus as an architectural practitioner I’ve have managed to create ‘fit’ relationships with other professionals in the arena, Consultants, building contractor’s, engineers, trades specialist’s, material suppliers, shoplifter specialists for the finishing & know about most manufacturers specifications, when applying their products (i..e. tile adhesives, is just one, paint another, preparation is very important).