Tips For Hiring An Architect For Real Estate Investors
The difference between being a rehabber and being a real estate developer is the difference between making a couple bucks here and there and having a guaranteed income for life. Whether your next project is a weekend project, maybe a new bathroom, or updating a kitchen or a multilevel new construction, commercial real estate development project. One of the first things you’ve got to know when you’re working with an architect is that your contract with the architect is every bit as important and distinct as your contract to buy the property itself. You’ve got to give it the same level of attention.
What Do You Expect From Your Architect?
First consideration is what exactly do you want from your Seattle architect? There are a number of different architectural drawings that you can get. It’s not just one architectural drawing set. The first type of architectural drawings are called existing conditions drawings. That’s nothing more than a drawing of what is existing at the property. This may include where the walls are and what the measurements are. The next set of drawings are called schematic drawings. These are drawings for the architect. It’s an idea of what the final project will be like. The schematic drawings will turn into the final residential architectural drawings. That has to do with where the stairs are, where the walls are, the height of the ceiling, and more. You’ll have the floor plans, which is a 2d top-down view. You’ll have elevation drawings also, which is a side view.
The architect may also coordinate with an engineer to give you MEP drawings. MEP stands for mechanical electrical and plumbing. Depending on the scope of your repairs, you might need MEP drawings. Also, you have structural drawings. That’s going to come from a structural engineer. The structural drawings will be necessary when you’re changing ceiling heights and dealing with bowed walls and other structural issues. The final type of drawings you’ll have are your construction and permit set. It’s the set that you can take to the city or county and get your permit stamps. Your permit set is going to include your architectural drawings, your MEP drawings, and your structural drawings.
What Are You Negotiating With Your Architect?
When you’re negotiating with your architect, you should to know what exactly it is you’re negotiating for. Are you negotiating for a set that you can take to the municipality and get your stamp? In your contract, be sure your architect is going to deliver a permit set of drawings. Whether the MEP and structural drawings are going to be part of that contract, or separate, that’s up to you. When things are planned, you’re going to save money this way.
Another thing to consider of course, is the bottom line. What is the total price? Is it a flat fee or are there some contingencies, like mileage from the architect driving to your site? You need to know what is a bottom line price. If it costs within that flat number, then at least I know what my number is. Can you meet with the architect freely as needed? A lot of times when you’re doing architectural plans, you go back and forth. You might have an idea. The architect has an idea, things are getting tweaked and changed.
Who Will Own The Final Drawings?
Who will own the final drawings? It’s a good idea to ensure you have ownership and freedom to use your drawings. That means if you go to use those drawings for another project, for marketing purposes, leasing purposes, resale, your able to do that. This is an important thing to negotiate in your contract with your architect.
When are the drawings final? Is it when the architect has done round one or two or three or four? I would recommend in your contract with your architect, to determine when the drawings are finalized so there’s no surprises. You need to be happy, and you should be able to know how much revision and change you should be able to ask for.
Get A Few References
When you’re negotiating your contract with your architect, always in a new relationship, make sure to get a couple of references, I’d say two or three or four, call those references, and learn about their experience working with this person. If possible, visit the architects previous project and take a look. Last thing, how is payment going to be handled? The last thing you want to do is pay money and then receive less than you expected, whether it’s an architect or a contractor. So there you have it, a few tips about how to work with your architect.