How to choose an architect

Before choosing an architect

The architects you interview will need certain information about your project in order to best address your concerns. The questions below serve as a guideline, spelling out areas to consider before you enter into discussion. Your responses will help steer your search for the design professional best able to meet your needs.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my overall ambitions for the project; my ideas, my vision and my concerns?
  • What are my aesthetic, emotional and practical preferences?
  • How will my project be used?
  • Do I have specific ideas on how to translate my intended activities into spaces; function, character, finish and area (square footage)?
  • Do I have a site or will this also be a subject of discussion with the architect?
  • Who will make the critical decisions?
    • Will it be me, my family, or a committee from my work or my community?
  • Where will the resources come from to create and operate my project? 
  • Have I decided upon a schedule and budget?
  • Do I have an interest in sustainable (green) design? Am I willing to pay a little extra up front on systems that will save energy or bring other operational savings and pay back over time?
  • Do I have previous experience with design and construction?
    • If so, in what ways was I successful?
    • Was the experience disappointing in any way?
    • If yes, how can I avoid repeating disappointments?

  * Adapted from the American Institute of Architects, with permission.