Constructing your home or building is an important and exciting undertaking. In order to be successful, hiring the perfect architect for your needs is key. Meet with several prospective architectural firms before you make a final decision on whom to work with. You may likewise ask for recommendations from your trusted contacts in your area. If you’re based in Queensland, you may consider working with a leading Brisbane architect. Here are questions you may ask when you’re interviewing architects.
What is your style? Do you have a signature style, or can you accommodate different types of designs?
For some famous architects, they are known for their own signature style. This is how they get their clients. For people who want a specific design concept, they choose an architect who is famous for that style. If you already have a definite design idea in mind, it would be best to work with an architect who has the same signature style.
There are also architects who can be more flexible, and can accommodate various styles of projects. Since these architects are not as restricting in terms of ideas, you may want to work with someone who is an expert at several architectural styles.
How do you view my project concept?
When you have an initial idea of how you want your project to materialize, you may want to share this with your prospective architect. Ask the company how they view your project, if they agree with the concept, and if it’s a feasible undertaking considering your budget, space, and timeline.
What is your design process? How will we work together?
Ask your possible architect how their firm’s usual client-architect workflow is. Get details on how involved each of you would be. A construction project can be a stressful and daunting task, and it would be advantageous to carry it out with an architectural firm who has the same mindset and strategy as you.
Even before starting the project, you should already be aware of how you could be of help to the architect throughout the entire project. Do you stand back and let them do the work? Or do you want to be totally involved in all decisions? Agreeing on the setup of your partnership at the start will prevent disagreements and misunderstandings down the line.
How will our interactions be like? How flexible and accessible should both of us be?
Find out how flexible your architect is in setting up meetings. Are progress meetings always on fixed schedules? Can you invite impromptu on-site discussions? These would all depend on how it would match your preferences as the client. Do you have a fixed-schedule day job? Or do you have an unpredictable day-to-day schedule? It’s important to choose an architect whose work schedule can match yours.
What are the possible obstacles and challenges to my construction project?
As the architect is the expert, he would most likely have extensive experience in construction projects. Ask your prospect about the possible problems you may encounter in your project, and the possible solutions or preventive measures to avoid these obstacles from happening.
How will our project timeline look like?
After you discuss the general concept of your project, ask the architect for an overall proposed timeline. Does it agree with how you view the project will progress?
Moreover, determine together what the project milestones would be, as these would serve as the parameters to concretely assess the progress of your project.
Who will be the other team members for my project?
A common practice for architectural firms nowadays is to delegate sections of the project to various team members depending on each person’s expertise. As the client, it wouldn’t always be possible for you to interact only with the lead architect. You should also be introduced to the other members of the team before you finalize working together.
How does your firm charge?
There are different charging setups for architectural firms. Some charge on a fixed-per-project basis, while others charge depending on how involved they are in the entire project. As the client, clarify this concern early on so that you have an idea if the firm’s rates match your budget.
Are you open to working with any contractor?
Some architects are open to working with your preferred contractor, so you can decide on which company will carry out your project. There are also some architects who are in partnership with a specific contractor, and they would only want that particular contractor to execute their designs.
If you don’t have a contractor yet, you may want to work with an architect who already has a partner contractor. If, however, you already have a trusted contractor, find an architect who’s amenable to working with your preferred contractor.
In order for your construction project to come to fruition, it’s critical to find an architect whom you can collaborate well with regarding design, workflow, timeline, and fees. You likewise need a partner who can foresee challenges and propose feasible solutions for these, so that your project proceeds as planned. Carrying out thorough interviews with several prospective architects by following the suggested questions will help you find the best architect to work with.