20 Questions to ask your Architect

When it comes to selecting an architect for your project, it can seem a little daunting. The question crosses your mind; do I really need an architect? More often than not, the answer to that is YES. Architect’s provide design and construction expertise that cannot be achieved in other areas of the process. Licensed architects know the local and state codes that can affect a design as well as they have the construction knowledge to help make your project feasible. Utilizing an architect can help you better understand what is going where and why it should go there. Architect’s are more than just a stamp on a document; they are your advocate in the construction process.

Before beginning the schematic design process, you are going to have a lot of questions to ask. Knowing which of those to ask your architect can be hard to figure out, so we put a list of 20 together that might be able to help:

1. How does the architect organize the process
2. What are the steps in the design process
3. What does the architect expect you to provide
4. Does the architect have a typical style of design they prefer and is that style what you are looking for
5. What is the architect’s experience level
6. What will the architect show you along the way to help explain the project
7. What types of media will the architect present you with (3-D models, sketches, renderings, drawings)
8. How does the architect establish fees
9. If the scope of the project changes later in the project, will there be additional fees
10. What services does the architect provide during construction
11. How disruptive will construction be
12. How long is the construction process
13. Do you have a list of past clients or past projects for reference
14. What is the architect’s schedule like (busy or open)
15. How will the architect work with you to establish priorities and make decisions
16. What does the architect see as important issues or considerations in your project
17. Who from the architecture firm will you be dealing with directly
18. What is the design timeline until the construction process begins
19. Are agency approvals needed for my project (local city and state governing bodies)
20. How is billing going to be processed (weekly, monthly, stages)

Hopefully these questions can make the process easier for you when meeting with an architect! If you have other questions you feel might be good to know, just post them in the comments on our facebook page!

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