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6 Questions to Ask an Architect Before Your Project

Asking questions of your architect before you dive into a project with them is an important step. Don’t be shy. We are always happy to answer all the questions you may have, and we believe anyone worth working with should be the same way. This is a collaboration, and you need to understand as much about how it works as possible to make sure you feel comfortable with the process. 

  1. Do you have experience with similar projects? 

It’s important to know if your architect is in unknown territory or not. If they’ve done similar projects in the past, you can feel confident in their ability to handle specific needs of your project. Talking about their previous projects gives you a chance to understand their approach to the same type of design and how unique challenges will be addressed. This is a great opportunity to ask for references.

  1. Ask to see a portfolio of completed projects, and for references.

Professionals should already be prepared with a portfolio for you to view as well as contact information for relevant references. Don’t hesitate to contact their references. Talking to previous clients will help you understand what to expect from the process. Ask them how close to the projected timeline their projects were completed. Talk about the finished product and if they feel their project was successful. You need to know you’re working with an architect whose style meshes with yours and who can deliver the outcome you have in mind.

  1. What does the timeline look like, and how does the design process fit into it? 

Having an idea of what each stage involves helps you manage your expectations on the front end. It also gives you an opportunity to prepare for each step. Ask your architect to outline each stage of the design process. Go over how long they expect each step to take as well as when you should expect things from them that you’ll need to approve before work can move forward. 

  1. What steps are taken to manage the project budget and control costs? 

Staying within your designated budget is an important part of the project. Knowing how your team approaches budget management including cost estimates, and expense tracking makes it easier for you to have confidence to trust the process. It also gives you insight into what the potential pitfalls are, and how you can make choices to help avoid those. It’s important for there to be transparency throughout your project, especially when it comes to your financial parameters.

  1. What is your approach to communication and collaboration? 

Ask questions about what methods of communication your architect prefers as well as how frequently you can expect to hear from them. This is also a good time to talk about how they go about managing any contractors who may be involved in your project. You need to know who your main point of contact is and the best ways to reach them. 

  1. Are you licensed, bonded, and insured? 

Don’t assume anything. This is a technicality you need to mark off your checklist. Professionals should have this information on hand and ready to provide you with proof of all licenses that apply as well as proof of insurance coverage. 

Don’t hesitate to ask a list of questions. This list is a good starting place, but you should also ask as many questions as you need to about specifics related to your project. Doing this before you agree to work together helps everyone involved understand each other from the start. A successful project requires communication and collaboration. That starts with these early questions. Have questions for us? We’re here to answer them.