Your architect is arguably the most important person in your building project, so when you’re choosing one to hire you shouldn’t take the decision lightly.
Don’t just go by the architect’s references and previous work – ask them these 7 questions to ensure that you choose the best architect for your home.
1. What is your vision for this project?
Asking an architect this question will help you to see if you’re both on the same page. You can ask them what they think is working now about your home, and what they think could be improved.
If you ask them about the challenges they think they will face and how they would deal with them, you won’t have any surprises later on. You’ll also be able to tell whether you have a good rapport and your personalities are compatible.
2. What’s your signature style?
Some architects have a design style that they bring to every project, whereas others like to focus on being adaptable to any kind of home design. Make sure their style is compatible with what you are looking for, otherwise you might not be impressed with the drawings they come up with.
3. Who is going to be doing the work?
If you’re hiring an architect from a company, the person you meet in the first instance might not be the one designing your remodel or extension. Make sure you find out who will be drawing up the plans, as they will be the person you want to interact with a lot.
It would be a good idea to schedule meetings with them so you can speak about your vision for your project.
4. How do you charge for your work?
It’s important to know how to expect to pay for your architect. They usually charge a percentage of the total project cost. Ask how they expect to be paid, whether that is monthly with some upfront or by the hour.
5. Do you provide any property management services?
Architects can manage projects as well as just complete the designs. Larger companies may offer services like:
- Help hiring a contractor
- Managing the project
- Making amendments to plans
Ask the architect whether they provide any of these services and consider whether you need them for anything other than the initial design.
6. Can you recommend contractors?
A good architect should know about the local area and designs that will pass planning regulations. That means they should also know about good building contractors that they could recommend to you.
If they can recommend you a contractor, it saves you the job of having to go through the process of finding a good builder. But it’s still always best to get a range of quotes to find out how much to expect to pay.
7. Can you do 3D drawings?
If your architect can provide 3D drawings, you’ll be able to see a clearer picture of what your design will look like in reality. If they can’t provide 3D drawings, it shows that they are behind the times on the latest technology.
If you ask an architect these questions it should give you more of an idea of whether they are suited to your project. Make sure you get a range of quotes from architects to get the best price and service.