What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
As a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) I am required to maintain knowledge and expertise of materials, methods, technologies, building codes, etc by acquiring 18 hrs of continuing education each year. In addition each state has their requirements of 12 hrs per year as well.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
While you can save money hiring an unlicensed designer you should know that there are laws in place to protect life and property. Only an architect licensed by your state is qualified to bring the required expertise to your project. While some residential projects do not require a licensed architect or engineer, each state has a threshold of complexity and size that will trigger the requirement for the use of a licensed architect or engineer. Also, regardless of what is mandated by the state, your local building officials can over rule and ask for the stamp of a licensed professional for permitting. Check your states requirements AND with local building officials before hiring a non licensed design professional.
What questions should customers think through before talking to professionals about their project?
When you hire an architect you are not just buying some ideas drawn on a few pieces of paper. You are buying experience, expertise & accountability. Someone you can point to and know it will get done your way, and without compromise. There are laws designed to protect lives and property. There are good materials and bad materials, right ways and wrong ways, deadlines and budgets. A licensed architect will bring expert knowledge of building codes, materials, contractors and building officials as a basic staple to your project. We deliver the attention needed to ensure your project is designed and built within the law, with durable materials, on time, on budget, and with the elegance and character that expresses you.