Koh Samui architect plans

8 Qualities to Look for in a Koh Samui Architect



There are a number of unique factors that have shaped the functional design of Thai properties over the ages. For example, did you know that many are raised above ground because of their initial proximity to rice fields, which had a tendency to flood? If you are looking to build in this exciting country, do you know how to find a great architect to do it for you?

Luckily, it is surprisingly easier than you would think. Read on as we discuss the questions you should ask a Koh Samui architect.

1) Do You Charge For Consultations?

Each architect in Koh Samui will have a unique set of rules on what the first meeting includes. Many will offer a meeting and discussion about your wishes and budget for free. This helps to ensure you are both on the same page before signing a contract.

After this, more detailed work is required. All of this takes time and skill, so you should expect to pay for these consultations. What is included in each will vary with each person, so be clear on what you are paying for. 

Paying for the initial consultation is not wrong or right. It will just help a lot if you can get clarity on what is included and what you will be paying for. 

2) What Does Your Portfolio Look Like?

When you drive around Koh Samui, you will notice there are a vast amount of different buildings. From traditional Thai homes to modern villas and apartments, the range is quite wide in scope. Go for a look around any potential neighborhoods you may be building in and see what is about to get an idea of the style you want. 

Once you have this, then ask to see the architect’s portfolio. While all will have variation in their work, the best Koh Samui architect should have a signature style. Perhaps they work with clean lines or are experts in making unique, modern buildings. 

Most of their portfolio should be on their website, so you can browse before the initial meeting. This ensures you are both on the same page when it comes to the design. 

3) What Services Do They Offer?

Each client can work with their architect in different ways. Some people want the design laid out, then they take it off to get built. Others want an architect to meet, liaise and act as a go-between for the contractor and client. 

Managing it yourself is a big amount of work, particularly if you don’t speak Thai. For this reason, it often helps to choose an architect who can help do a  lot of the work and communication. 

If you do decide on this method, then they should keep track of the cost, do regular inspections and manage builders. It is not unreasonable to expect them to visit the site every day, especially for projects with higher budgets. 

4) What Is Their Current Workload And Capacity?

You don’t want to commission an architect in Koh Samui then find the initial planning takes far longer than you wished for. Even when you have the basic concept, you want to know how long it will take to get the wheels in motion, including CAD drawings and other visualizations. 

Asking this question will let you know how many individuals the company has to work with. You can also find out how they monitor projects and keep them moving along. 

5) How Are Fees Worked Out?

The way architects charge can vary. Some may just ask for a lump sum for the whole project. Others may ask for it in installments or even charge hourly and daily fees. 

Daily and hourly fees can go over quickly if the project is delayed or moved back, meaning a lot of added expense. If you are paying in this way, make sure someone surveys the project and gives a good idea of the time and the tasks involved. Try to get solid assurances in writing about when and how tasks will be completed. 

6) Will There Be Additional Fees If The Project Changes?

During the early phases of a project, it is possible to change some design aspects. Unforeseen circumstances could also happen that halt the project. You need to be prepared in case of these events. 

If you know how an architect handles these eventualities, you can plan. Ask what their fees are for changes and discuss common problems that may halt a project, along with how much they cost to fix. 

7) Get References

If you want to find the best Koh Samui architect, then you need one with great references. Many will have testimonials on their website. However, these will have been vetted and you need to dig a little deeper. 

Start by asking the company who they have worked with and where. From this, get their references and do some research of your own. Speak to others who have had work done and check online business forums for recommendations. 

If the architect has no references at all, then avoid them. This shows a lack of experience and you may end up losing money. 

8) Do You Have Builders You Work With?

Many architects will have builders they already choose to work with. This works better for a number of reasons. A working relationship will already have been forged and they will know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. 

This does not mean it is impossible for architects and new builders to work together. You just need to show the builder the plans and get an initial quote before you continue to use them. 

The Best Koh Samui Architect Near Me

Now you know what to ask a Koh Samui architect, search for the best one. Get a list of two or three potential candidates and contact them. You can then see if you work on a personal level and have the same outlook on the project. 

CJ Samui Builders should be your first stop. We have fully insured and certified building services in Koh Samui and surrounding areas. Contact us here to discuss your project and work with our expert team. 

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