Interviewing An Architect

The architect(s) you choose to interview and meet with should be able to provide detailed answers to each of the following questions. Typically, you will want to interview anywhere from 3 to 5 firms. If you already have a good relationship with an architect you may choose to skip this step altogether. Not all projects are the same, so your interview questions will be unique to your own project. We encourage you to prepare a list of your unique questions related to you and your project to ask during the interview process.

Here’s a few questions we’ve prepared to help you get started:

  • Why should we hire you? What sets you apart from the rest?
  • How do you establish your fees and what is your estimate for our particular project?
  • If the scope of the project changes, how will additional service fees be determined?
  • How would you approach our project to best meet our needs and goals?
  • What are the obvious challenges to our project that automatically comes to mind?
  • Will you, the architect/designer, be working with us directly on the project?
  • Who will be designing our project? You or an associate/employee?
  • How busy is your architectural firm right now? How many projects are currently on the boards?
  • What are the phases or steps in the design process that we should be aware of?
  • What are your expectations of our involvement in the process of the project?
  • What is your design philosophy?
  • What service(s) do you provide during construction?
  • What is the cost and time estimations of project and project completion?
  • What is your experience and track record with cost estimating?
  • Do you have a list of references or testimonials of past clients you have worked with?
  • Do you have any experience with Design Build?
  • Are you Licensed in the state of California?
  • Is your business a part of AIA? BBB? Are you LEED certified?
  • What are your thoughts on sustainable construction and what measures have you taken in the past?
  • Is your firm insured?
  • What styles of architecture do you specialize in and can you design the particular style architecture we have in mind?

The interview should take about an hour and is usually conducted at the architect’s office, the client’s home, by video conference, or a designated place of choice. It’s always nice to see the office where all the design work will take place if you’re the potential client. The architect usually has past projects and testimonials along with portfolio pictures for an indication on their capability and track record. While many architects do not charge for this interview, a handful do, so be sure to inquire about any fees upfront.

Overall, the interview process is about learning how the architect’s team will approach your project by gathering information, establishing priorities, making decisions, and anything the architect finds relevant for you to consider. Formal interviews measure the chemistry between you and the architect.

When you are viewing the architect’s business websites or browsing project portfolios, remember that your requirements are unique. Your needs, desires, and dreams are obviously different from others; and the resulting design solution will be as well.

Ultimately, the chemistry and relationship between you and the architect in question along with your personal confidence in his/her design ability, professional service, technical competence, contract and fee structure is going to be the deciding factor.



Contact us today to see how we can best serve you on your next building project.

Tel: +1 (805) 466-7674

E-mail: gary@gfharchitecture.com



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