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How to Find an Architect

Finding an architect is the first step toward designing your custom home—whether you are building from the ground up, renovating, or planning an addition. Residential architects are invaluable in helping you translate your ideas and dreams into a workable design for your builder to construct. Finding the right architect who is well-suited for your particular project is the critical task. Architects have signature styles and individual predilections as diverse as the customers who hire them. Matching the right architect to fit your style is vital to getting the results you want. After all, your home should be an expression of you, not just your architect.


Online Directories

As with most inquiries in the information age, your search will likely begin on the Internet. This is a great place to start, just be careful not to limit your search to the Internet alone. A worthwhile approach is to look at the online portfolios of architects and identify those who match your style. In general, online directories will have a comprehensive list of licensed architects for you to select from. The following directories will get your search started.


United States of America:

–   The American Institute of Architects

–   Architects USA

–   Architizer


–   Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

British Isles:

–   Royal Institute of British Architects

–   The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland

–   The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland


South Pacific:

–   Australian Institute of Architects

–   New Zealand Institute of Architects Incorporated


South Africa:

–   South African Institute of Architects



–   United Architects of the Philippines


Parade of Homes

Many densely populated areas put on a parade of homes for the viewing public to see the latest trends in home design and furnishings. In most cases, an architect worked directly on the project to bring the concept to life. Find a local parade of homes in your area and pay attention to which homes you like and who the architect was.


Personal Recommendations

Professionals like realtors, builders, and design professionals all have many experiences with architects and are well connected in the industry. On the personal side, friends, coworkers, and total strangers who happen to live in random homes you admire, are all great potential sources for referrals. Good things come to those who ask, don’t hesitate to reach out to those in your network for suggestions.

In addition to the resources outlined here, Expressive Homes also recommends leveraging some of the search methods described in Finding a Contractor, and Finding a Custom Home Builder, as much of it also applies to finding an architect. The key is to take a multi-faceted approach to your search for architectural services. The more time you invest building confidence in your architect of choice, the more pleased you will be with the end result of your project.