When Selecting an Architect: Good Questions to ask…

questions to ask your architect
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Wondering what questions to ask your architect? Here is a helpful list that will help you to choose the right architect for your home. Print them off and take them to your first meeting.

These questions will help you to determine which architect is more suitable to design your home.

1. Relevant Experience

It’s not just the skills and qualifications but the experience which relates to the type of home and location you have in mind.

  • Have you had experience on projects like this before?
  • Have you worked on projects of this size before?
  • What point of difference does your practice have from other architects with similar experience?
  • Can I see a tour or portfolio of your similar projects?
  • Who from your practice would I be dealing with on a regular basis? Would this person be designing my project?

2. Questions specific to your project and site

When choosing an architect to design your home, you need to know they will meet your needs.

  • Are you interested enough in my project to make it a priority?
  • What challenges do you foresee for my project?
  • Do you see any challenges with my site?
  • Do you see any important issues or considerations with my project?
  • How do we go about creating a detailed project brief?
  • Can you explain the design process?
  • Do you use 3D design software?
  • What is your experience with sustainable design?

3. NSW Approval process

One of the biggest challenges of building a home can be getting approval. You don’t want to finalise designs you love, only to have them rejected by council. Here are some questions to ask your architect.

  • Would my project need DA approval?
  • Have you worked with this council before?

4. Construction

Great designs are nothing if you don’t have the right builder. Hopefully your architect can answer the following questions with confidence:

  • Do you have builders you can recommend?
  • What potential delay could there be on site that I should be aware of?
  • What role do you play during the construction stage?
  • Can I stay in my home during the construction?

5. Time

We have all watched people experiencing months of delays on Grand Designs but this doesn’t have to be the case if you take care, plan ahead and choose an architect who is very organised. The following questions to ask your architect will be helpful:

  • How long would it take to get my project to the site?
  • How long would my project take to get DA submission?
  • Besides the DA process, what things can delay a project getting to the site?
  • How long do you think the construction stage might take?

6. Fees

An architect is worth the cost to give you a more streamlined project with fewer setbacks. This is what to ask about the fees:

  • How do you charge?
  • Can you confirm the scope of your services?
  • If the scope changes later in the project, will there be additional fees? How will these be justified? How will you communicate this to me?
  • In what situations would you charge additional fees?
  • Do you charge disbursements?

7. Budget

Budget considerations are important to think about when coming up with questions to ask your architect before hiring:

  • Does our Cost of Works budget meet our brief?
  • What are your processes in controlling the project’s budgets?
  • Do you obtain estimates during the design and documentation stages?
  • Are your projects typically built within the client’s original budget?
  • What other costs should I allow for in addition to the Architect’s fees?
  • How much should I budget for the consultant’s fees?
  • Should I allow for a contingency? If so, how much?

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