Choose the right design professional for your project!
Building a home incurs the greatest financial burden most people will face in a lifetime, and yet few envision how complex the process is until they are tangled in a jungle of codes, ordinances, design options, product and contractor choices.
When a new home or addition is in your future, a specialist in residential design is the best choice to guide you through the design/building experience. It makes sense to secure design services from a qualified, experienced source - a member of the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD).
When looking to hire a design professional, be sure they have experience. You've heard it a million times, and it's true. There's no substitute for experience. This is especially true for design professionals.
Your first meeting should be in a professional's office. That office may be in the designer's home, but should be in a designated area. Remember, use caution if you are dealing with a part-time draftsperson conducting business from the kitchen table. While in a designer's office ask to see some of their latest work. This will allow you to compare designers' work and styles as you interview design professionals. Look around their office. Today's design professionals must stay on the cutting edge of their profession to compete. This requires a great deal of reference material such as books, manuals, code text, catalogs and sample materials. Ask to see photographs of actual homes that have been built in a design similar to the one you are considering.
A professional building designer always has a contract or agreement for your review that covers such items as the fee and terms of payment, as well as the specific services that will be rendered for specified fees.
Membership in a professional organization such as the American Institute of Building Design (AIBD) or the American Institute of Architects (AIA) makes the statement that this individual maintains high morals and professional standards within the building design profession. Although it is not required in CT, seals on drawings indicate that the design professional is either a state licensed architect or a Certified Professional Building Designer (CPBD) through the National Council of Building Designer Certification.
Continuing education is a requirement for a Certified Professional Building Designer. Continuing Education Units (CEU's) are vital for building designers to improve their professionalism and to stay informed of the many advances in the building and design industries.
Who should I hire?
An experienced design professional should possess the following:
- Membership in professional organizations such as AIBD
- Proof of experience
- Extensive design portfolio
- Agreement in writing
- Professional office/design space
- Proof of continuing education