Prior to beginning your design project, you will need to select an architect who will work with you to complete your vision. The best way to find someone talented in your area will be through word of mouth from family or friends who have used someone in the past. If you don’t have any references, your best bet is to perform an online search for architects in your town, county, or state.
Review the websites of architects in which you are interested to see what type of work they do, and be sure to read any testimonials that are posted. When you narrow your search down to two or three, prepare a list of questions and call each of them to perform a phone interview. Here are some good sample questions to get you started:
- Have you designed projects similar to this in the past?
- Can I have the names and contact information for two references who’ve had similar projects completed?
- What would be the approximate timeframe for completing this project?
- What types of projects are you currently working on?
- Is there anything I need to consider about this project that I haven’t mentioned?
- Can you summarize the process from our initial meeting to the construction completion?
At this point early on in the process, you are looking for general guidance, not specific design. You are not looking for design guidance at this point; you need to determine more basic information such as how will you be using the spaces, how many people it will accommodate, how many bedrooms are needed, whether you have enough space to accomplish your goals, and what state or township restrictions are in your area (if any). After you have performed your phone interviews, set up a meeting to review your project in person. Once you’ve had a sit-down discussion, the architect should be able to provide you with a written proposal and contract for their services.
At PDRdesigns, we educate our clients because we want them to be fully informed. We need clients to trust us, and we protect that trust by providing them with information they need to make solid decisions about how to proceed.
Your relationship with your architect is a very personal one, so choose someone that you are comfortable with! Do your homework and although it might cost a bit more, make your selection based on how you felt when meeting with them. Pick someone with whom you can communicate openly and honestly so that you end up with a finished product you can be proud of!