Starting a building project can be an exciting process whether it is a kitchen remodel, a master suite addition or a new home. The first step in this process is hiring an architect.  Style, personality and philosophy are just a couple items to be aware of when starting your search.  A good place to start your search is to ask friends for recommendations and/or do a web search to come up with a list of 3-4 potentials.  Schedule a consultation meeting with each architect to get a feel for how they design and communicate.  When you sit down with these architects, describe your project goals, your style, your level of finishes, the time frame and an approximate budget.  There are many questions to ask an architect during a consultation, these are a list of 10 to get you started.

1. What is your firm’s design philosophy?

2. What types of services can you offer?

3. What is an estimated time frame for the design, permitting, bidding and construction phases for our project?

4. Have you worked on similar projects to ours?  Do you have a portfolio?

5. Who will be the project leader when we retain your firm for services?

6. Does your firm carry liability insurance?

7. What are the steps involved in the architectural process?

8. How are your fees established?  If the scope of the project changes during the process, are there additional fees?

9. How do we help keep our project on target in respect to the budget?

10. Do you recommend contractors?  Can you build our project?

The American Institute of Architects developed and published a list of 25 questions that you can review also.

All architects will be able to come up with a design solution for your project, the difference is how well does the architect listen, hear and implement your needs to make your dream a reality.

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