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How to Interview an Architect or Designer

by Don Vandervort, © HomeTips

Before meeting with architects or designers to discuss your remodeling project, you need to do your homework so you’re ready to take full advantage of the time you have with them and so no important questions are left unanswered. Here are your assignments:

• Present your ideas. Be sure to read the articles Where to Get Ideas for Your Remodel and How to Organize Your Remodel Ideas before setting up any meetings. It’s important you have a handle on the kinds of things you like and want so you can articulate your vision.

• Put together a meeting agenda of what you want to accomplish. List the important points you want to cover and the order in which you would like to discuss them.

• Have in mind the general budget for your remodeling project so you can give a clear idea of the project’s financial limitations. Keep in mind, a remodel almost always costs at least 20% more than you think it will, but you can keep yours on budget with careful planning.

• Be clear about your timetable for completion of the project. Ask whether they will be able to meet this schedule and if they will be working on any other projects at the same time.

• Request to see a portfolio of their work and ask for the names of former clients you can contact. You want to make sure they have experience with the type of remodel you’re doing so you can confirm that their aesthetic is in keeping with what you hope to achieve.

Architect or Designer Interview Questions

Consider the following questions for your meetings:

What are your credentials, how long have you been in business, and are you a member of any professional association?

What type of fee structure do you recommend for this project—a percentage of the cost of the job or an hourly rate? If by the hour, what are your hourly rates? If by the job, what are the services you would provide—all working drawings, handling of permits, and oversight of construction? When do you anticipate submitting a bid for this job?

Do you have experience with this type of remodel, and how recently did you design it? Can we look at any similar work you’ve done?

How long will the design process take? What would you need from us in terms of input and meetings during the design process?

Who will be in charge of actually doing the design work? Who will be handling meetings and communications with us?

To get free recommendations for top-rated local architects, call the most reliable and comprehensive referral service, HomeAdvisor, at 866-350-2983 (toll free).

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