Friday, February 9, 2024

20 Reasons to Hire a Small Architecture Firm

20 Reasons to Hire a Small Architecture Firm

Architecture services aren’t ‘one size fits all.’ 

The size of the firm actually makes a big difference. 

And to be honest, the size of the firm you choose will undoubtedly have a fairly dramatic impact on your project outcome. 

One thing that a lot of people misunderstand is the concept of ‘size’ when it comes to architecture firms. 

They often equate ‘bigger’ with ‘better.’ But this isn’t the case. 

In fact, small architecture firms can sometimes bring unique and interesting advantages to the table—and some of these advantages are often overlooked until you learn exactly where to spot them. 

Large firms boast some serious manpower, there’s no doubt about that. 

Small firms, however, also offer a plethora of advantages. 

They can offer increased collaboration with clients, a deeper understanding of client needs, a more intimate client relationship, and increased attention to detail. 

Sometimes (and this may not always seem intuitive, either), smaller teams can also keep up with industry innovation at a faster pace as well. 

And obviously, smaller firms also tend to do customer service quite a bit better. 

ZP Architects & Engineers says it like this: 

“When you’re looking for someone to help realize the vision you have for your new commercial construction project, it's important to have a good understanding of what qualities and qualifications this person should possess.”

With all of this being said, making the choice to hire a small firm instead of a larger one still takes some thinking and rumination. 

And honestly, the scope of your project (and your individual desires) will probably play into this more than anything else. 

With that being said, here are 20 reasons for why you may want to consider choosing a small architecture firm over a large one for your unique project. 

Here’s what you need to know. 

1. Personalized Attention

Small architecture firms are generally handling fewer projects. Thus, you’ll enjoy more personalized attention. 

2. Direct Access to Senior Talent

You’re more likely to get in-depth access to senior talent in smaller firms. 


Because there are only so many people employed there—and they’ll likely be working on your project. 

3. Flexibility and Adaptability

Small firms tend to adapt to changes quite quickly. 

They can pivot if circumstances change, and can provide a level of flexibility that large firms don’t often reach.

4. Innovative and Creative Solutions

With a smaller team, creativity often thrives. 

Small firms often do a better job of delivering innovative solutions and unique designs that stand out.

5. Stronger Client Relationships

It’s super important to have a good relationship with your firm.

And small firms tend to excel at this. 

6. Cost-Effective Services

Small firms tend to operate with lower overhead. Thus, they can transfer those savings over to you. 

7. Local Market Knowledge

Local knowledge is like a superpower for small firms. They tend to know local zoning laws and regulations a lot better—which is a pretty big advantage. 

8. Customized Service

Getting customized service is going to be a lot easier with small firms. 

And the main reason for this is because they’re going to be a lot more focused on each client, due to the fact that they’ll be helping fewer clients at the same time. 

9. Enhanced Communication

Smaller firms equal better communication. 

If that sounds like good news to you—then ‘small firm’ it should be. 

10. Community Focus

Smaller firms are generally more committed to their local communities. 

They tend to be more involved, and tend to foster better relationships. 

11. Faster Project Completion

Smaller teams can lead to more efficient decision-making processes, potentially speeding up the completion of your project.

12. Dedicated Team

With a small firm, you’re likely to have the same team from start to finish, ensuring consistency and a deep understanding of your project’s vision throughout its lifecycle.

13. Access to Emerging Talent

Small firms tend to attract some of the best talent, because they tend to offer awesome options for architects who are looking to make a name for themselves. 

14. Sustainable Design Focus

Small firms generally have more bandwidth for environmentally friendly practices. 

15. Quality Over Quantity

Small firms often prioritize the quality of the work done on projects over the quantity of the projects they onboard, ensuring that each project receives the kind of attention and craftsmanship it deserves.

16. Tailored Expertise

Many small firms tend to specialize in certain types of projects.

This means that they can offer tailored expertise that larger, more generalized firms may not be able to provide.

17. Stronger Community Ties

Smaller firms often have stronger community ties. These may very well be the people who live down the road from where you plan to build!

18. Easier Adaptation to Trends

Small firms are typically better at specialized adaptation of tech and new trends into their designs. 

19. A More Cohesive Team

Small firm teams often work closely together. 

And this tends to lead to a more cohesive, unified approach to projects.

20. Emphasis on Innovation

Small firms are usually better at innovation. They tend to push the boundaries of traditional architecture, and are usually better at creating truly unique and forward-thinking designs.


While the allure of big-name architecture firms can be understandable (to a point), the benefits of hiring a smaller firm are numerous. 

With this in mind, you may want to reconsider your choice to go all-in on a big firm. 

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