Working with an architect allows you to bring your dream home to life! Yet, finding the right architect to take on your project can be a challenge. This important step ensures that the final results truly reflect your creative vision, so how can you tell whether or not a prospective hire is a right fit for your construction project? Before making a decision, interview your candidates, and remember to ask these five questions before hiring an architect.

Many architects are available for consultations or exploration calls in which they are open to discussing your particular project as well as any concerns you may have, so keep the questions below in mind. Or, if you’re ready to discover the possibilities at The Anderson Studio, view our portfolio and contact our team to get started on your next exciting project.

1. What is your signature style?

If you have a specific idea of how your project should turn out, it’s important to learn more about your architect’s favorite styles. Asking prospective hires about the styles they are most experienced and comfortable with can help you find someone whose skill set aligns with your particular project.

Most experienced architects have portfolios of completed projects demonstrating the styles that they are most familiar and comfortable with. Check out these samples of your architect’s past work to better understand what styles your architect is most skilled at creating. Aside from viewing photos of their past accomplishments, ask potential hires to describe their favorite looks and materials to work with.

Well-established architects typically develop a signature style throughout their careers. These architects are known and sought after for their ability to design and create certain looks or implement specific techniques. Depending on the results you envision for your project, you may decide to collaborate with an architect that has previously worked on similar styles, has completed projects that you are aesthetically attracted to, or is well known for their signature style of architecture.

2. What project management services do you provide?

All construction projects require organized project management, but not all architects are equally involved or skilled at providing these services. Ask how your architect engages with aspects of construction such as finding a suitable contractor, monitoring work progress, gaining necessary lien waivers, adjusting plans when pertinent, reviewing and issuing invoices, and conducting regular site inspections.

Architects who provide more project management services may charge a higher premium. However, there is a clear benefit to working with someone who collaborates with the contractor and remains involved throughout the construction phase. Architects who are willing to stay up to date with other collaborators on your project can oversee the progression of construction and help ensure quality results.

You may also want to ask your architect how they structure billing for the various project management services they offer. While some key services may be inevitably included in your architect’s contract, others may need to be selected and negotiated separately.

3. What is your general process?

Understanding how your architect approaches their projects helps you better anticipate the timeline and what to expect as your project progresses. While every project is unique, your architect likely has a general process for design and construction that they regularly employ. Ask potential hires to walk through the typical stages and steps of their projects so that it’s clear what methods your architect may apply to your project.

You may also want to ask for a timeline and how a prospective architect envisions applying these steps to your construction. A skilled and experienced architect can provide an estimated timeline that your project could theoretically follow. By asking about the process and timeline, you can narrow down which architect would make the best use of time, resources, and connections for your needs.

What do you consider the main challenges of my project?

Construction projects are involved and complicated, even for accomplished architects. As you screen candidates for your project, ask potential hires which part of your project would be the most demanding and how they intend to overcome such challenges. The most practiced architects have no trouble identifying the toughest phase of their project or telling you how they handled similar challenges in the past.

This awareness and ability to effectively discuss a project and potential problems is an excellent skill for an architect to have. Working with someone capable of identifying their strengths, weaknesses, and how they align with the demands of a particular project allows you to have earnest conversations about the project as work progresses.

5. What kind of help can I provide to make the design process easier or reduce overall costs?

Construction projects always require collaboration from a variety of professionals along with some direction from the homeowner. As the homeowner sets the expectations for the project, it may be necessary to provide the architect with example pictures, written descriptions, or sketches to communicate and agree on the final results. Asking the architects you screen what kind of help they need before starting a project can help you understand your role in the project and how you can contribute to the final product.

Start Your Search at The Anderson Studio

Finding the right architect to work on your project can take some time but by asking the right questions, it’s possible to narrow in on your ideal hire. Get to know candidates before committing to an architect with these five key questions to find the right person for your job!

If you’re ready to start interviewing potential architects for your project, get started today at The Anderson Studio. Get inspired by viewing our portfolio and contact our team to get started on your next exciting project.