10 Essential Questions to ask an Architect

Selecting the right Architect for your project is pivotal to its success.

Interviewing several Architects before making a decision can help you identify your priorities and ensure that the chosen Architect is capable of meeting your needs.

Here are 10 essential questions to ask when evaluating an Architect.

1. What is your design process?

Understanding the Architect’s project workflow and methodology is essential, as Architects often structure their services differently.  Comprehending these processes will give you insights into how they manage projects and the steps involved.

It’s important to have confidence in their well-established processes, with clear objectives and outcomes.

Detail 9 Architects established process can be found here.

2.  What is your design philosophy?

Architects may have a signature style or distinct approach to design.  Ensure that their design philosophy aligns with your vision and preferences for your project.

3.  Have you completed similar projects?

Reviewing the Architect’s portfolio to assess their experience with projects similar to yours is crucial.  This will help you gauge their competence and suitability for your specific needs.

4.  What is the typical project timeline?

Although project timelines can vary, Architects should provide a rough estimate for project stage.  This will help you set realistic expectations and assess their commitment to your project.

Be cautious of Architects who promise an unrealistically short timeframe or present an overly long timeline, as this could indicate potential issues.

5.  Who will design my project and be my primary contact?

It is essential to understand who will be the key designer and primary contact throughout your project. Clarify whether the person you initially meet will lead your design.

If the designer is a different person, arrange a meeting with them to discuss your design brief and ensure synergy.

6.  Do you have experience during construction?

An Architect with construction experience can offer valuable insights into the building process, resulting in more efficient and cost-effective outcomes.

7.  Have you identified any specific issues with my project?

Architects generally conduct preliminary research before meeting clients and may identify specific planning and/or building issues.  On site, Architects may also spot additional issues with existing buildings, vegetation, and other site conditions.  This insight can be critical for planning your project.

8.  What is your fee structure?

Architect fees can vary, including fixed fees, percentage-based fees and hourly rates.

Ensure you fully understand their fee structure and how it applies to different project stages.

9.  Can you provide references?

Speaking with previous clients can offer valuable insights into the Architect’s work style, communication skills, and ability to handle challenges.  Be wary if they are hesitant to provide references.

10.  How do you manage client relationships?

Effective communication and client management are vital throughout the project’s journey. Ensure that the Architect is proactive, transparent, and capable of guiding you through the process with confidence, as they are the expert.

This question is significant, as the building and renovating journey is lengthy, highly personal and typically includes hurdles along the way.


By asking these questions, you’ll gain a better understanding of the Architect’s capabilities, work style, and compatibility with both you and your project, ultimately increasing the chances of a successful partnership.

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