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Key Questions to Ask an Architect Before Hiring One

Choosing a Melbourne architect for your project is not a simple decision. The architect you select will be the project leader so they should be an excellent problem solver, a good listener, and someone who keeps your budget on track. To get to know a potential architect, you should schedule an interview with the candidates and ask the following questions before hiring one.


1. Will you be the one to design my project?

If the architect works for a firm, there’s a possibility that the person you talk to during the interview will not be handling the actual design work. This is fine if you understand it firsthand. Since good communication is an integral part of a successful job, you should be given a chance to talk to the lead architect who will work on your project before deciding to work with the firm.

It is expected that you will interact a lot with the project head. So, ensure that you have the correct contact information and request to have a schedule of meetings according to your mutually convenient times.


2. Can you show me three-dimensional illustrations of the design?

Imagining the actual design from a regular two-dimensional plan isn’t easy. You may not have an accurate feel or idea how the design will look after it’s done.

Ask the architect how the drawings and illustrations will be presented to you. Most architects today use software to create 3D images that can be viewed and rotated from different angles. The lack of 3D illustration capability could mean that the candidate is not updated in the recent techniques and methods of modeling and design.


3. Do your works come with a specific style?

Many architects take pride in their flexibility, which makes them fit their style to their clients’ preferences. However, some architects have a strong design sensibility that is obvious in all their projects. For example, some architects specialize in modernism or a beach cottage look. By knowing an architect’s specific style upfront, you can tell if their work will suit your vision for the project.


4. What do you think are the attractions and the possible challenges of this job?

Most architects will show you an impressive portfolio and a list of references, but that does not really demonstrate how they will work on your project. During the interview, ask the architect about his vision for your project utilizing the following questions:

● What can be improved on this project?

● What are the challenges?

● How will you make this additional feature blend in with the rest of the structure?

The architect’s answers are essential and, at the same time, you want to use this conversation to ensure that you develop good rapport, and that your working personalities will be compatible.

Many skillful architects can provide creative solutions for your project, but the person you should hire must be someone who can match their design to your lifestyle and taste.


5. What are other project management services you can do?

Architects can perform more than just making the blueprints and design. They can also do the following:

● Help find a contractor

● Manage the project

● Check and update the contractors work during the project

● Make the necessary design adjustments

● Double check invoices to ensure that finances are well-managed

● Get needed waivers from contractors to avoid other parties from making a claim against your property in the future

Ask the architect about these services and how much they would cost. Services such as revisions and site inspections are expected to be part of your contract, while others may incur different charges.


6. How are the fees calculated?

Architects commonly charge a percentage of the project cost, which can be anywhere from 5% to 20%. The percentage cost will depend on the services they provide, the reputation and experience of the architect, and the job’s complexity. Ask the architect what percentage they will charge for your project, the payment due dates, and how the payments are made.

Architects can bill monthly starting from the day they begin work. However, most of the design work begins even before construction and before you know the total project cost.

An architect can also charge by the hour or even charge a retainer, which is a fixed monthly fee, while the project cost is still unknown. Adjustments are then made once the total cost is known.

While billing methods may be important, what’s more crucial is that they are clear about the billing strategy so that you can manage your finances well for the project.


Final Thoughts

Designing your home or remodeling it involves some challenges, but the help of a good architect should aid you in overcoming these difficulties. The importance of choosing a good architect can’t be stressed enough since the success of your project depends on this. An architect’s flexibility, creativity, and impressive work ethics are just some of the things you would want in your candidate.

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Buying or selling a home is among the largest financial decisions a person makes in their lifetime. We are here to ensure that you are confident in your decision. Reach out, and let us show you how we can help!

John and Melissa Steele, San Diego Real Estate Agents

John and Melissa Steele