Hiring a friend as architect?
Hi, just starting to get the ball rolling on a remodel project with addition. Our neighbor (and father of our son's best friend) is an architect. About a year ago when talking to his wife I mentioned we might call him for recommendations (he worked for a firm that specialized in commercial architecture at the time.) And she said that we could just hire him - he's allowed to take on side projects. At first this sounded great, but now that my husband and I are financially ready to start the project, we are having reservations about hiring a friend. My husband is particularly uncomfortable with the idea. And we are both quite aware of how emotional/stressful a major remodeling project can be. We are not "close" friends, but we are good neighbors. We would hate to jeopardize that relationship. They are good people. Trustworthy. He has a similar design aesthetic to us (I know this since he designed their home). Their family is the same size, he is very familiar with all the neighborhood restrictions and volunteers on our local planning board. There are lots of good things. But, my husband is very adamantly against developing a working relationship with him. Now I am afraid to even ask him for recommendations thinking he may be offended.
Should I try to talk my husband into hiring him? Is my husband right, and we should never mix business with pleasure? How do I approach our neighbor for recommendations, or should I seek out another architect without consulting him first (which seems weird too, it's not like he won't notice a major addition onto the back of our house)
Thoughts? Personal experiences?