How to choose an architect

Top ten questions to ask your architect*

We suggest you conduct your initial interview of prospective consulting architects using these guideline questions:

  1. Considering size and type of building, what is your experience with comparable projects?
  2. What sets your firm apart from other architects with similar experience?
  3. What do you see as important issues, challenges, or considerations in my project?

  4. What is your attitude to sustainable (green) design and how do you think it applies to my project?
  5. What is the design process? Can you outline the steps for me?
  6. What do you think is an appropriate schedule for my project?
  7. What do you think I should budget for construction cost and for all the costs of the project including fees and all contingencies?
  8. What form of agreement do you propose to use?
  9. What is included in your basic services and what falls under additional fees?
  10. What is your role during construction? Am I expected to work directly with the contractor?

And a few bonus questions . . .

  1. What is your track record for completing a project within the original budget and timeline?
  2. May I see a portfolio of similar projects?
  3. Can you provide a list of client and contractor references?
  4. Are you interested enough in this project to make it a priority?

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