It’s important to hire the right person when you need an architect for your project. Whether you’re working on a home, business or industrial building, you need someone with a vision, goals, and mindset that all mesh well with your own.
So, if being part of the project process is important to you, make sure you locate individuals or firms who are upfront about offering such services to clients. For example, if you live in Colorado, look for Denver architecture firms that specialize in collaboration. And it should be easy to find out. All you have to do is go to each firm’s website and see if collaboration is mentioned.
Getting rid of the bad and weeding out the obviously incompatible is easy, but narrowing down your choices to the perfect match can be much more of a challenge. Thankfully, asking the right questions can help you move this process along. To help you get started, here are nine questions you should ask an architect before you hire one.
- Do You Have a Favorite Style?
Architects who have a favorite style often make it their signature or let it influence all of their work. If that style isn’t for you, you may not want to hire that architect. On the other hand, this question could open up a stimulating conversation about a style you’ve never even heard of which could help you in designing the project of your dreams with the architect who’ll make them come true.
- Are You Enjoying Your Other Projects?
Getting a feel for what an architect is enjoying in his work will help you gauge whether or not you want to move forward with a hiring decision. If he’s working on similar projects and isn’t really enjoying it, take it as a red flag. Do you really want to hire an architect who won’t enjoy working on your project? It’ll earn you both some frustrations and the architect may not put his best work into something he’s not fully passionate about.
- Will I Be Dealing With You Directly?
Architects are busy people, often juggling multiple projects at a time. This means that they may have other people under them, such as a junior architect, to deal with certain aspects of the business. You might prefer having an architect who will be your sole contact during this process. Such an arrangement can lead to a better path for communication and a more personal working relationship.
- What Do You Feel Has Been Your Best Work?
Asking an architect to show you what they think is their best work, such as a portfolio, lets you see what your project may look like finished. If their best work is something close to what you’re looking for, it’s even more beneficial to ask this question.
- Can I See My Plan in 3D?
Two-dimensional plans are great, but 3D plans add a whole other dimension of understanding what’s going into your project and what it will look like when it’s complete. If you haven’t considered 3D vs. 2D plans, do so now. That way, you’ll know whether this service is non-negotiable for you when you’re deciding whether or not to hire a particular architect.
- What Is My Project’s Potential?
Once the architect has seen your site or walked through the building you’re remodeling, he’s going to have an idea for the end goal. One architect may talk about how spacious the rooms will be, while another will emphasize the view from the largest window. Another may find their passion in the landscaping. This is a question that will reveal if you and your architect will see eye to eye as the project moves forward.
- Will There Be Any Challenges With My Project?
Sometimes what you’re asking for maybe too much of a challenge for the architect you’re talking to. And maybe you are asking for the impossible. Or maybe a different architect will see no challenge in what you’re asking. That’s why it’s important to get a second opinion. Otherwise, your vision for your project may not come true in the way you wanted it to.
- How Do You Deal With Permits and Regulations?
Timing is crucial in this area and it should always be dealt with right after you hire your architect. An architect who waits until the design is finished isn’t as good of a choice as one who gets it over and done within the beginning. It’s better to change the design to fit regulations before you even start the first draft than to come back and rework what already seemed perfect to you.
- How Do You Deal With The Budget?
If your project has a strict budget, you’ll want an architect who’ll try and work within it. Look into the architect’s methods of estimation and make sure they’re solid. Ask him what’s included in his final hire price, and the final price he estimates for the whole project. You don’t want any shocks further down the line when it’s too late to do anything about it.