If you type in "choosing an architect" on Google or any other search engine, the results will include lots of articles about the subject for you to read. If you're really dedicated to the cause and want to learn everything there is to know, you can even buy a book about the subject.
I'm afraid you won't get lots of advice about choosing an architect from us. However, we can tell you what we did.
We researched companies on the internet and through yellow pages, looking at their websites, their portfolios and client testimonials. We also visited several companies at exhibitions.
We decided we wanted to work with a local architect. Not only would that make it easier to meet up at our house or their offices or on site, it also meant that they would have plenty of experience and firsthand knowledge of the project.
My father-in-law, was going to be the main builder, He got the job because he knows a lot about DIY, and had built and helped build quite a lot of houses, including his own house. More importantly, he felt that it was his responsibility to take control of the project – which in a way, stopped him from getting bored over the weekends!!!
Other family members were also involved in the whole building project, and they helped us greatly when time permitted it. The main advantages for us doing it this way were:
• It saved us quite a lot of money that could have been used to pay the builders and architects.
• We build on our own time and pace, rather than having builders hurrying to finish the job – and then you have the risk of them not doing it properly.
• And most importantly, we did everything ourselves. This gives us great pride in telling friend that we built the house all by ourselves, a story that we will definitely be telling our kids and grand kids.