The seven most important questions you should be asking your architect

It’s always a big investment when you hire an architect, so it’s important that you know that you have the right person to make your dreams a reality, and that they have the answers to your questions. In this article we will take a look at some of the important questions that may help you determine whether a specific architect is right for you.

What are the timeline for the project be?

One of the first things you need to know is whether you really want to commit to a project. After all, if it will take years to finish, do you really want the upheaval of living on a building site?

Before you get plans drawn up, find out how long the project is likely to take and quiz you architect on the different stages. They will be able to tell you the difficult parts and where the upheaval is likely to be. If it’s an 8 to 12 week project then it’ll be far more acceptable than if it six months. The architect should have the experience to let you know exactly how long each stage will take, how likely you are to get planning permission and how long that will take, as well as telling you clear timelines for their drawings should you engage them.

Do you have any concerns regarding what we are looking to do?

When you asked this question from an architect, you’ll engage their reasoning brain, and hopefully you’ll get some honest answers about where the problems may lie. If they think it is highly unlikely that you get planning permission with the project that you want, but with a few tweaks it will be much more likely, that is important information if you do have. You don’t want to just pay away your money to get drawings done, you want to have a workable project that will give you the functionality that you desire in the end.

How can you help me stay within my budget?

Building projects often go way over budget. One question to ask the architect is how they can help you to minimise the chances of this happening. They can break down each aspect of the project so that you understand it, and can talk through the different design options and materials that may make the job smoother.

What are the big challenges and important issues in my building project?

The architect should be able to give you the big picture. With their experience of construction projects they should signpost the potential ups and downs, and help to guide you towards having the right professionals on the project, especially if you are project managing yourself. If you have no experience then it is highly advised that you get a project manager in.

Is what I am suggesting feasible and possible within my budget?

When we start planning extensions or a home building project we often get carried away. We look at best case scenarios rather than reality, a look for reasons why we can do what we want to do. An architect should be able to tell you whether what you are planning is feasible, and how much it will actually cost. They may also suggest major ways that you can cut the project in order to reduce budget without affecting the functionality that you desire in the building.

What do your fees include?

Not all architects will include the same in their fees. There are different levels of service such as full service, design/build and build sets. There are pros and cons to each level but you need to make the right decision for your budget, your project scope and you need to make sure that the architect does what you need to get your project completed.

Can I see some of your previous work?

One of the most important things you can do is look at architectural drawings that have been done in the past by the architect you are looking at. This should give you a measure of confidence that they can do what you want them to do, and it may also give you some ideas for your project. You can ask them about why they did certain things and how it benefited the project.

Getting an architect is an important stage of the building process so make sure you armed with good questions to help you in your building project. If you a first time builder it is important that you do new home builders comparison, to find out who’s best for your new home. It is important to get it right the first time to avoid further cost of renovation later.