Do they care? Or are they offering to beat any written quote? Are they offering a cut and paste solution? Unless you you are putting up a standard carport, you want someone who cares enough to get to know you and what you really need. After all, you will be living with the reality of their design for a long long time.
Does the designer see the project through your eyes? Or is it just another house, or alteration, or addition to them? How will you know? Are they offering you alternatives to your ideas? Or are they just copying what you have said? There is nothing wrong with giving you, the client, what you want, but a designer who is excited about your project will ask you why you want things a certain way, and may offer alternatives that you haven’t seen, but which they have because of their training and experience.
You don’t need to study for 10 years to be a designer. But you do need to have proof that you are competent. In South Africa only professionals listed with the South African Council for the Architectural Profession may do plans for council submission. But does the designer you are using have the flair you need for your project? Ask them for references from previous clients for whom they have done similar work. Ask to see examples of designs they have done in the past. Would you be happy to see your project done with the same level of skill?
Would you like to be in the aeroplane with a pilot on his first flight? Well, you should be okay since he has been adequately trained and as long as he has his licence. But you wouldn’t want to take on a hurricane with him alone in the cockpit would you? Is your project going to be plain sailing? (Or flying) Or do you see a possibility for turbulence. Again, ask to see previous work done, and weigh up your need for an experienced designer with the complexity of your project, and of course your budget.
Going cheap on a designer is similar to going cheap on a pair of shoes. You may be happy you saved a bit at the time, but when you are wearing them into the future you want to be comfortable, warm, and dry. But that doesn’t mean the most expensive is the best. Remember you get what you pay for – and while the design may be done relatively quickly, the consequences of a bad design may be permanent. So ask yourself: What do I want? Is it something I need a fully qualified Architect for? Or can I use a skilled draughtsperson? Again, speak to past clients. Were they happy with the results and service they got? Make sure you are comparing apples with apples: What all is included in the scope of work? Will this designer take the plan through council for me? Do I need to pay for disbursements? (Petrol, printing etc.)
Fineline offer free tailor-made quotations to potential clients. We are confident that we will satisfy your design needs, whether they be interior, architectural, or engineering design needs. Contact us.