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Choosing the Right Architect: An Interview with Gerald Cowart of Cowart Group P.C.

By Gerald Cowart

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Cowart Group architects was born out of a combined love for historic restoration and respect for the natural environment. I believe that better architecture can create a better world.

In your opinion, what are three qualities that every architect should possess?

Let them be educated, experienced, and of high integrity.

As an architect, how do you make sure you're understanding of what your client wants?

Ask the right questions in the right order of priority early, then sketch and ask again- "Is this what you mean?" And then sketch again! I always encourage my clients to bring their show and tell and I will use their examples to help me distill their desires. Then all this needs to synthesized in to a preliminary design where it is questioned again.

What are at least three questions every homeowner should ask their architect before hiring them?

Compatibility or often called chemistry, is very important. Proven reputation ask for referrals. Does your architect have proven respect for the place/lot and style of the client. See some of their work that is similar to what you want, size and budget.

What is your philosophy behind creating dynamic, yet practical homes for your clients?

True understanding and empathy with the client, respect for their budget and respect for the environment of their lot. Energy efficiency goes with out saying.

What are a few minor building renovations that can really improve the appearance of my home?

The front door and door hardware is the first thing. Windows work like the windows into your soul. Color pallet and roof materials can make or break a beautiful design. No beautiful house exists until it is beautifully built. Select a very good builder, he's worth it!

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

Web site or email, but I'd love to talk first hand and it's always best to have a face to face. So call me and let's meet.

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