7 Essential Questions to Ask an Architect Before Hiring

All the people you have on your speed-dial list are either related to you or have earned their position through years of loyalty and friendship. If you’re constructing your dream home, you’ll be making the most calls for the next few months (or years) to your architect and then your contractor. Before you add them to the prestigious speed-dial list, make sure they are worthy. Here are the important questions you should ask your architect before (and after) hiring him/her:

#1 References?

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Just asking for pictures of previous projects won’t be good enough. It’s important to ask for references and for the contact information of former clients so you can ask them about their experience and whether the architect stuck to timelines and what kind of communication level was provided.

#2 What’s your signature style?

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Ask your architect if he/she has a signature style. Make sure their vision aligns with yours. If you notice from that most of the previous projects have certain things in common, ask about that. If you have a clear idea of what you want, you can even ask your architect to specifically show you those projects in their portfolio that are similar to your vision.

#3 How Do You Charge?

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An architects fee can be quite confusing so make sure to ask at the initial meeting about the process to payment. Methods for calculating fees can include time spent, property area, percentage of the cost of the entire project, etc. Ask for the breakup and how the architect expects it – at regular intervals/at the completion of different sections, etc.

#4 How Available Will He/She Be?

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If you’re employing a firm, you’ll need to ask who your point of contact will be and what their availability is like. Your architect needs to be accessible to you as well as your contractor.

#5 3D Drawings?

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If you’ve seen any design plan, you’ll know how confusing they can be. Asking for a 3D image will help you understand the entire design much better.

#6 Estimated Timeline?

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This is an obvious one and might be the first one you actually want to be answered. Ask the architect how long the design process will take. This might depend mostly on you and how clear you are on what you want. If you have everything already planned out, you can also ask how long it takes for a project of this kind/size.

#7 Recommendations for Contractors?

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If you don’t already have a builder/contractor in mind, ask your architect for recommendations. They will have a good list based on previous experience and might be a smoother process because all the parties know each other.

Communication with your architect needs to be stress-free and comfortable so make sure (while you’re checking their track record and rates) that you like the person or firm you choose.

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