The vast majority of people will only have very limited involvement with an architect during their lives, so it’s important to know which questions you should ask an architecture firm before hiring them, whether your project is a single-storey extension to be used as a n office, loft conversation to be used as a games room, architect plans or something more. These five questions will help you make an educated buying decision, so you can hire an architect with confidence!
- How do you charge?
There are always several stages to any project and it’s important to understand when payments will need to be made. There are elements of a project that require the involvement of third parties such as planning officers which can disrupt expected timescales. It’s vital to collect as much information regards how payments are collected and when they are due to ensure your comfortable with the process and are prepared for when the time comes to pay the invoice.
- What level of project management do you provide?
There are several distinct skills that an architect has to bring together to execute a project. It’s important to discuss with your architect what involvement they will have with the overall project, or will they be providing individual elements for you. This is essential as the architect might require more involvement from you or a third-party expert thus implies more precious time being used or further expenses that you need to be prepared for when the time comes.
- Do you have examples of your work?
Architects are usually happy to discuss their previous work that demonstrates what they can do. Look for a level of creativity that suits your project. An Architecture Firm will typically display their work on their website or in there architecture brochure. We have our architectural designs displayed on our Projects page.
- What involvement will you have in communicating with Planning Officers?
Much like with other areas of legislation, planning rules have grey areas and technicalities that when understood to a high level will allow for negotiation with planning officers. Projects that at first glance may not be allowed, could become possible with some lateral thinking and good communication with the planning officer.
- What’s the timeline for this project?
An architect won’t always be able to give exact timescales for how long a project will take as there are many variables involved but this doesn’t mean an estimate can’t be given. There are third parties involved in every project and their response times can be unpredictable. Approaching an architect with the timescales that suit you can begin a discussion around how feasible that may be.