Questions to ask your architect

Previously we discussed the selection process of your architect in broad terms.  Now we will focus on important issues to address when interviewing an architect.  By asking the questions below, you should be able to make an informed decision as to which architect will be the most suitable for your project:

1. What does the architect consider to be the important issues or considerations in your project?  What are the challenges?
2. How will the architect approach the project? How will the architect establish priorities and make decisions?
3. How will the architect gather information about your goals and needs?
4. What does the architect expect from you?
5. What sets the architect apart from the rest?  What is the architect's design philosophy?
6. Which individual from the architecture practice will you be dealing with directly? Is it the same person that will be designing the project?  Who will be designing the project?
7. How busy is the architect?  What is the internal time scale for him/her to provide you with the various design and documentation stages?
8. How does the architect establish fees?  What would the architect expect to be the fees on your specific project?  At what stages will fees be due? Should the scope of the project change, will there be additional fees?
9. Would the architect require additional services from surveyors, engineers or quantity surveyors?  Should it be the case, who would he/she recommend?
10. What are the steps in the design process?  How will the architect explain the project?  Will you see drawings, photorealistic perspectives or animations?
11. What services does the architect provide during construction?
12. Does the architect have a list of past clients that you can contact?

This should not only help you understand both the architect’s and your own responsibilities, but will also help prevent costly surprises later in the construction process.

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