If you went to see a dentist this morning after having just fallen from the moon, how would you feel? What would you ask? Would you dare step into their office without knowing what they did or what tool they’re going to use inside your mouth? Most likely not. Would you ask them if what they’re about to do to your mouth is going to cost of thousands of dollars? I’m guessing not either.Image above ISV Architects
The same goes for hiring an architect. It’s not as easy as finding one and letting them renovate a new home for you. You have to make sure to get the right one. How do you that exactly? Well, you have to know certain things about what to expect from an architect before you actually hire one.
So, let’s take a look at setting expectations of your architect by considering the questions you might want to ask them before they begin. Shall we?
Questions to ask an architect
So, preliminary questions will feel a lot like an interview because surprise! That’s what this first stage is in a nutshell. You’re feeling them out, and noting their opinions and ethics along the way.
1. What is your design philosophy? In other words, what makes you unique and an asset to my project over another project? What sets you apart?
2. Will you share your client portfolio and examples of relevant work? In other words, will you snow me over with completely unrelated projects, or will you use this question as an opportunity to build trust?
3. Are you my key point of contact, or will I be working with someone else on your behalf? If there’s a team, ask for one point of contact anyway.
4. From what I have told you, what are the top mistakes you see me about to possibly make, hypothetically speaking? Don’t ask for a whole report, but use this as another opportunity to get into the mind of your architect.
5. What do you expect from me? Avoid any architect who brushes over this question. Construction is a completely interactive, engaging experience between architect and the person footing the bill. Anyone who wants to lead to a fault will likely drop the ball at some point and create unpredictable outcomes. Image above loft by ADN Architectures
After you have established answers to these questions, it is time to dig a little bit deeper. Later on, and over the course of your preliminary meetings, it’s time to pull out the next round of hard-hitting questions for your drafting Brisbane architecture firm!
6. How do you establish costs? Planning may be hourly, design should likely be fixed and so should construction (in most cases). Does your architect work over the design and construction with a fixed cost? Why or why not? This is a clincher. If they make a mistake during planning or design, it will come and bite you during construction. It’s one thing to pay for labour to fix a mistake; it’s another to pay more for the brains that made the mistake in the first place.
7. What is your track record with completing projects on time and within budget? Can you provide examples and client references for projects that are relevant to mine? Image above CSC House.
8. What is included in your services, and what costs extra? How much should I earmark for this project, all costs in, with margin for error and scope creep?
9. What role will you carry out during construction? Do I deal directly with the contractor?
10. What factors will you use to establish project priorities and make decisions?
These questions should get you off to the races with your architect. From there, your architect will know that you mean business, and will likely respect the level of understanding you demonstrate by asking relevant questions.
Anything to add? Let us know in the comments!