Over the past few months I’ve been reading numerous books on custom building a home and doing quite a bit of research online as well. Based on these books and other articles I’ve read I drafted a composite list of architect interview questions. Before our two in-person interviews I had called a handful of other architects in our area and even out of state as well. That’s primarily where I’d ask most of my questions which is how I narrowed our in-person interview down to just the two. Really the in-person interviews were about understanding more in-depth their design process and finding out if there was a good working chemistry between us. Having a great chemistry I believe was one of the key factors in making our decision. This person will be designing our home – a personal space that should reflect us and the way we live. Being able to be comfortable in our discussions/interactions with our designer will make the world of difference!
Our Architect Interview Questions
1. How will you discover what our perfect house will be? Can you explain your process? How do you collect information about our needs, goals, etc.
2. What are the steps in the design process and how are they organized?
3. What criteria will be used to establish priorities and make design decisions?
4. How many projects do you have going at once?
5. Will you be designing our house yourself?
6. Can you show me some of your past work?
7. What kinds of drawings or models will you prepare? Do you do any computer renderings? 2D, 3D?
8. What percentage of your office’s work is custom residential?
9. How do you treat custom residential designs differently than builder’s?
10. Are you a registered architect in the state of Washington?
11. What type of contract do you use? Is it a percentage fee, hourly fee, fixed sum, etc?
12. What would you expect your fee to be for this project?
13. What is included in your basic services and what services would incur additional fees?
14. Are any other consultants included in your fee – structural engineer, landscape architect, interior designer?
15. How long will the design and construction documents take?
16. What would you estimate the approximate cost of construction to be, based on your usual projects or based on what we’ve already discussed?
17. How accurate have your construction cost estimates been in the past?
18. How will costs of design changes be handled?
19. When can you realistically start on our project?
20. How long have you been in business?
21. Can you provide us with a list of references and a list of all the projects you’ve done in the past 5 years?
22. How will you work with my builder?
23. If we were to stop this project before construction, how would our contract be terminated? What would our financial obligations be?