In your search for an architect to remodel your home, you need to be sure you’ve got the right person for the job. This person will be responsible for designing your remodel plan and coordinating the team that will make your dreams a reality. But if this is your first time working with an architect it might be hard knowing what questions to ask. Start by doing some research and finding some architects you think are right for the job. Then set up an interview. Have your questions ready beforehand and these are the top ones you should be asking.
1. Why do you want to work on this project?
Every architect has their own design preferences and style. You’ll want one that closely matches your vision and if they’re in an interview then obviously you like their style. But their heart has to be in it as well. Just because they’ve accepted the invitation for an interview doesn’t mean they want the job. Hopefully, they do but if they don’t share the same passion as you for the project then they might not be the right choice.
2. How much of a time commitment will you need from me?
Beyond the obvious question of how long they think the project will take, you’ll want to know how much time they’ll need from you. Working with an architect isn’t as simple as sitting through a few meetings to draw up the blueprints. They’ll need time from you now and then to work through problems, concerns or new ideas. Everything works much better and faster when the client is as dedicated to the project as the architect is. Make it clear how you will communicate – in person or on the phone – and how often. Sometimes it may not be possible to meet during business hours. If so then you’ll need to make sure both of you can meet on the weekends, early mornings or late evenings.
3. How can I be helpful through the process?
Just as every architect has their own design style, each one also has their own working style. If you’re not sure how involved you should be, then simply ask! Most architects love a client that gets involved in a project. But if you get too much in the way it will hamper the project. Make sure you understand the organizational process so then you know how you can be the most helpful. Timelines will need to be established and documents drafted and sent for review if the project is to move forward. Having this kind of conversation early on sets the scene for the project and allows the architect to plan the road ahead.
4. What are the biggest issues and considerations in the project?
On explaining your vision for the project the architect’s brain will already be anticipating the biggest challenges. In your dreaming and planning for the project, you may have overlooked certain things like building regulations and design challenges that the architect is already foreseeing. On hearing their answer, ask if they’ve encountered similar problems before and how they were handled. This will also tell you about the experience level of the architect and how good they are at problem-solving.
5. Can you tell me about the team you will have on the project?
Architecture firms work as a team and you’ll want to know who’s on that team. Ask for introductions and get to know them as well. Knowing who you’ll be working within the coming months and how often will be vitally important. There might be a project manager you get on great with but a designer that you feel is underqualified or you don’t gel with. Ask about which people you’ll be spending the most time with. If you’ll be spending a lot of time with that designer you don’t gel with then this is a recipe for disaster.