ask your architect

20 questions to ask your architect.

David Brooke Robinson


October 10, 2021

How do you know what to ask an architect when you’re considering hiring one? For many, it’s a bit of a mystery because it’s not often that people have an opportunity to work with an architect on a renovation or new construction project, more than once during their lifetime. So where do you start?

Well, I have found that the American Institute of Architects (AIA) is a great resource to begin with. And while there is much to consider when hiring an architect, the following list, provided through the AIA New Jersey chapter, is a super helpful starting point! So, as you embark on any project that requires an architect, the following 20 Questions to Ask Your Architect is a super helpful resource.

  1. What does the architect see as important issues or considerations in your project? What are the challenges of the project?
  2. How will the architect gather information about your needs, goals, etc.?
  3. How will the architect establish priorities and make decisions?
  4. Who from the architecture firm will you be dealing with directly? Is it the same person who will be designing the project? If not, who will be designing it?
  5. How interested is the architect in this project?
  6. How busy is the architect?
  7. What sets this architect apart from the rest?
  8. How will you be able to relate fee payments to milestones in the architect’s scope of work?
  9. How does the architect establish fees? When will fee payments be expected?
  10. What would the architect expect the fee to be for this project?
  11. What are the steps in the design process?
  12. How does the architect organize the process?
  13. What does the architect expect you to provide?
  14. Does the architect have a specific design style? Can he/she show examples of past design work?
  15. What is the architect’s experience/track record with cost-estimating?
  16. What will the architect show you along the way to explain the project? Will you see models, drawings, or sketches?
  17. If the scope of the project changes later in the project, will there be additional fees? How will these fees be justified?
  18. What services does the architect provide during construction?
  19. How disruptive will construction be? How long does the architect expect it to take to complete your project?
  20. Can the architect provide a list of past clients with whom he or she has worked?

And, if you have more questions about finding a great architect for your project, feel free to reach out to draw anytime. You’ll find us very approachable and easy to talk to. No snooty judgments here, just a down to earth resource to help you along the way.