6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring An Architect

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6 Questions to Ask Before Hiring An Architect

There’s no way around it, hiring an architect can be an intimidating task.  After all, you’re entrusting the design of your dream home to someone you’ve recently met. Deciding on whom to use to design and build your home will likely be the most important decision you make during the home building process.

To get started, ask family and friends for their recommendations.  It’s also wise to consult reputable websites such as the Better Business Bureau, Google, and Angie’s List.  And read reviews of those you’re considering hiring.  Once you’ve narrowed down your list of candidates that you wish to interview, here are some questions to help you find the perfect architect for your project.

1. What is your involvement during the construction process?

It’s crucial to have an architect that can work hand-in-hand with your builder for the duration of your project.  This ensures that the builder is able to clear up any questions regarding the blueprints as the project progresses.      

2. Are you personally designing my project? 

It’s beneficial to understand whether the person you are initially meeting with is the person drawing up the blueprints or if they’re a representative of their firm.  Insist on meeting the person responsible for your project before hiring an architect.

3. How are your rates calculated?

Architects use various methods to tabulate their rates.  Some contractors charge a price per square foot or a percentage of construction costs.  Others opt to charge by the hour.  Clarify if there are services that they may need to provide that are not included in the quote.  It’s also important to understand how often you will be invoiced, as this can vary as well.

4. Can I have a list of references? 

Verbal and written references allow you to understand the caliber of work an architect performs and how satisfied previous clients are with the final outcome.  Speaking with past clients also allows you understand how well an architect adheres to budgets and timelines. It is recommended to check references before hiring an architect.

5. Which past project was your favorite? 

The response to this question can be quite telling.  If their favorite project had styling you didn’t particularly care for, it’s highly probable that your relationship with them may not be as peaceful as you’d like.  Additionally, if the architect favors a design style that differs from your personal taste, it’s wise to seek out the services of a professional that will better execute your vision.

6. Do you foresee any obstacles to my vision being completed? 

A reputable architect should be able to anticipate problems before they arise.  They can verify whether your budget and timeline are realistic.  This also allows the architect to discuss any portions of your vision that may have consequences that you hadn’t already considered.    

Using this list of questions when interviewing architects will help to ensure you are hiring the right person for the job.