7 questions to ask an architect
So you've decided you want to build your dream home, remodel or add on to your house. You have the image in your head and the funds available. All you need is an expert to bring that dream to life.
Hiring an architect can help you take that next, important step in constructing or remodeling your home. An experienced architect will help you put your vision onto paper, or blueprints to be more precise. An architect can also ensure your construction is built to code and that its construction is managed properly.
It’s extremely important to interview several architects to compare quality, expertise, management processes and overall bids.
Here are 7 questions to ask to make sure you’re comfortable with the architect you choose for your project:
- What is your process for staying within the budget? With so many variables in the construction or remodeling of a home, costs can quickly exceed your budget. A reputable architect should be able to help you closely estimate overall costs, including materials and labor, and help you make the tough budget choices about where to cut if and when unexpected expenses arise.
- Can you show me your work? Make sure the architect has completed projects that are comparable in scale and style to the plan you propose.
- Do you have at least three references? As you interview previous clients, make sure you ask how well the architect communicated with them, stayed within their budgets and met their overall expectations.
- What challenges do you anticipate? Anticipating complications is one key in determining if there may be some unforeseen issues with your project and, as a result, additional expenses.
- How realistic is my proposed vision for the project? An experienced and reliable architect should be willing to candidly discuss any limitations with your project.
- What is your project management style? Ask if the architect will manage the entire project, from hiring all contractors to making design adjustments as the work progresses, reviewing and paying contractor invoices, and obtaining required permits.
- How do you charge? It's important to establish upfront how payments will be made. Many architects will request a substantial deposit at the beginning of the project and set a payment schedule as the work progresses to completion. Make sure you are comfortable with the payment plan. Establish ahead of time how payments will be handled if any issues arise.