With people spending more time at home than ever before, many have been considering finally making the investment to either remodel their home or build a new home from scratch. With the rally of the real estate market being one of the surprising bright spots of 2020—with interest rates reaching record lows—the demand for high-quality “forever homes” has been steadily on the rise.
If you have indeed made the decision to either remodel or construct your home, there will inevitably be many important decisions that you will need to make. One of the most important decisions will be who you select as an architect. Fortunately, if you’re living in the cosmopolitan paradise of Boulder, Colorado, you’ll quickly discover that there are many architects available for you to choose from.
Finding the right Boulder architect for your next project can be a bit overwhelming. The downside of having so many experienced and qualified firms available to choose from, you might not know where to begin your search.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most important things to keep in mind when comparing various Boulder architecture firms. By taking the time to ensure the architect you choose really is the right choice, you’ll be one step closer to designing the home of your dreams.
Identifying Your Project Goals (and Constraints)
There are many different architects in Boulder and in order to find the perfect fit for your project, you’ll need to begin by identifying what—exactly—you plan on doing. Architects do a lot more than design new homes from scratch. They often refurbish existing homes, find ways of making living spaces more sustainable, and help their clients’ visions come to life.
The more you can do to plan in advance, the easier it will be to find the Boulder architect that’s right for you. Begin by defining your “mission” with the project and explain the ideal outcomes you hope to achieve. From there, you will need to identify the various constraints that come with your project including your building budget, the amount of land you have to work with, relevant legal restrictions, and more.
If you are already overwhelmed by this process, that’s okay. Having a rough idea of what you hope to accomplish will still be useful—your prospective architects have likely completed similar projects and can help you fill in the gaps. Regardless, it is still important to think about what you want your future home to look like and how you can feasibly bring this vision to life.
Find Your Favorite Architectural Style
Boulder is a city that has had an absolutely fascinating history. With many different waves of people and types of people discovering the beautiful mountain city over time, the city has become a unique mosaic of different architectural styles and philosophies.
As you begin the process of shopping around for Boulder architects, try to determine the specific styles that appeal most to you. Within the city of Boulder, you can easily find many of these styles:
· Contemporary: characterized by glass, steel, and the infusion of technology.
· Victorian: old features, dramatic structures, designated rooms, and artful details.
· Mid-century Modern: open floor plans, multi-purpose rooms, and integration with outdoor spaces.
· Post-Industrial: ample use of brick and steel, exposed air ducts, and polished concrete floors.
· Traditional Spanish: vibrant use of color and detail, traditional red roofing, tiled floors, and white stucco create this classic Southwestern look.
· Craftsman: hitched roofs, compact living spaces, developed front porches, and hand-crafted details.
· Western: perfect for Colorado, frontier-style complete with refurbished wood and dark finishes.
Of course, as you quickly see, many of Boulder’s homes actually blend multiple styles into one. This empowers architects to combine stunning aesthetic features of years past with the living demands and sustainability needs of the present.
Visit the Websites of Your Favorite Architects
Once you have clearly defined the purpose of your project and compared different styles of architecture, the next thing you’ll need to do is visit the websites of the various firms you are considering. An architect’s website gives them a chance to showcase projects they’ve completed in the place, discuss their values and their mission, and also make it easy for you to contact them and ask whatever questions you might have.
By taking the time to briefly flip through their digital portfolio, you will not only be able to see what they are capable of creating, but you will also be able to get some creative inspiration. Take note of the features and details you like, and also make note of the things you don’t like. Elsewhere online, you might want to consider reading customer reviews, visiting the architect’s social media pages (especially Instagram), and also learn more about architecture in general.
Asking the Important Questions
At last, you are ready to begin interviewing each of the Boulder architects you are considering. These interviews are a standard part of the hiring process and your prospective architects will gladly talk to you, answer your questions, and help prepare you to get the project started.
Ask these questions, and whatever others you might have, to see if a given firm is compatible with your needs:
· Can you describe your typical design process?
· What is your background and experience as an architect?
· What are your favorite architectural styles? Is there a particular project you are most proud of?
· Who are your favorite architects?
· What is your current design philosophy?
· Why should I choose you to help me design my home?
Making the Final Decision
There many extremely qualified, experienced, and reliable architects within the City of Boulder and throughout the Front Range region. No matter what type of project you have in mind, you will surely be able to find someone who can help you make your dream home a reality. By taking the time to understand your own needs, learn more about architecture, and carefully research your available options, a beautiful Boulder home is within reach.