is the most important link between the conception of an architectural project and its satisfactory completion. Because of an architect's vital importance, you need to choose yours very carefully, but how do you do this? What are the most important questions you need to ask an architect? There are actually dozens of them, but these 5 most important questions to ask an architect will help get you started.
1. How much experience do you have in this type of work?
If you want an architect to design a second storey addition to your home, you want to know that they have experience in residential constructions. One architect may be brilliant at space planning for shopping centres, but have no experience whatsoever in the structural requirements of adding a second floor to an existing structure. If the architect assures you that he or she does have experience in your type of work, ask to see examples of their previous work. If you are satisfied with what you see, ask for their assurance that they will be taking an active role in your project and not handing it over to an inexperienced subordinate.
2. What is the range of your services?
Is the architect going to be working with you throughout the construction process or do they consider their job finished after they hand over the finalised drawings? Will they liase with council in order to ensure you get your necessary building permits? Will they work directly with your building contractor?
3. When can you start?
If you are satisfied with the answers you have received so far, you will want to know when the architect is going to be ready to start working on your project. This is also a good time to ask about their estimated time of completion, the steps they take towards completion of your project, work scheduling, progress payments and anything else that has to do with project timing and management. A good architect will know exactly what steps have to be gone through and be able to give you an accurate estimate of a completion date.
4. How much do your services cost?
Like the other basic questions, you will want to ask several follow-up questions about the cost of the architect's services. You will want them to tell you specifically what services are included in their quote and which ones are not. Before your meeting ends, you want to have a perfectly clear understanding of what the architect is or is not going to be doing for you.
5: Is there anything I've left out?
Allow the architect time to fill you in on any details you may have left out or not known to ask. A conscientious architect won't want to leave you in the dark about anything. They may have a particular style of working, for instance, and tell you that they prefer to take the reins of the project from start to finish or they may suggest that your project involves only basic construction techniques and once they are satisfied that your builder understands everything about the building design, they would rather leave the construction phase in the builder's hands, but will always be available to answer questions or make modifications to the drawings if it becomes necessary.
By the time you have finished your meeting, you should have a clear understanding about the services the architect will be offering, the cost of the project and its completion date. You should also have a clear feeling about how well you believe you will be able to work with this architect. Even if you are thoroughly impressed with the first architect you speak to, get together with 2 or 3 more and ask them the same sets of questions. That way you will know for sure which one is right for you.