Finding the appropriate building designer for your project is not a difficult task. The steps are similar to those you'd take in locating any qualified professional. First, you'll need to compile a list of potential candidates. Start by asking friends, relatives and business associates if they've worked with building designers in the past, and ask for a referral. Check the yellow pages in your telephone directory under "Building Design", "Residential Design" or "Home Design" for designers in your area, too.
Many residential contractors and design/build firms will have a building designer on staff, or they may regularly use the services of one nearby. A weekend "scouting" drive within a 15-mile radius of your home may yield a few solid leads. Keep an eye out for homes which are similar in design to what you have in mind. If you see something appealing and construction is not yet complete, look for a job sign posted at the site. The building designer's name and phone number may be listed, which you can easily jot down. If the home is occupied, a quick knock on the door at a respectable hour might result in a referral from a flattered homeowner.
The best way to compile a list of potential building designers for your project is by contacting the national offices of AIBD at 800-366-2423. AIBD can provide you with a list of names and phone numbers of professional members in your general area, or direct you to the AIBD chapter in your state which can provide that information.