Whether you’re planning major renovations or a new build, the chances are you need a good architect to drive your project forward. Coming up with the right design for you will be the result of numerous conversations that need to be productive. In order to get the most from the architectural firm you plan on working with, there are a number of questions you can ask and here at Brightman Clarke Architects, we believe you should be given the answers straight away.
Do you have references from previous clients?
One of the best ways you can figure out if an architect is right for your project is to ask them for references from their previous clients and the contractors they’ve worked with. It’ll give you peace of mind that you’re working with a company you can depend on to bring you the best results and you’ll get more of an idea of what to expect from them as a company.
Good firms have a wide range of references they can give to you, and you’ll be able to hear about work that isn’t necessarily publicised elsewhere. If a firm can’t or won’t give you any references, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere.
Are there ways I can help the process?
If you’re not sure how involved you can or should be, your architects should be able to tell you how you can make the process as easy as possible. This question will allow you to understand the company’s processes more and how you can work with them to ensure a successful project you’ll love for the years to come.
Additionally, a basic understanding of workflows and timelines will help you to feel more at ease and able to anticipate updates and documentation you may need to deal with.
How does your fee structure work and how much can I expect to be paying?
Different architects will use different pricing structures, and a good firm will be able to lay out and explain their costs in an accessible way when you ask. As well as being open about your budget, you also need to make sure they’re open with you about any possible hidden costs, such as administration costs to ensure you can afford their services and you don’t go over budget.
One way to gain information on whether a firm’s estimates and ability to stick to budget is reliable, is to talk to the clients that were given as references.
What are going to be the challenges, considerations and important issues of my project?
It’s a good idea to ask your architect their opinion on what elements of your project stands out and to get a Big Picture view from them. Your architect will (or should!) have a wealth of experience of planning permission, design challenges and construction that you simply won’t.
It’s also worth finding out if your architect has worked on similar projects to yours before, so you can assess whether they have the experience of how to deal with the ups and downs of your build or renovation. An architect with relevant experience will know how to deal with the likely problems, as well as knowing what won’t work – something that’s just as important.
What will be your role with my contractor?
Once your project is in the construction phase, your project will largely be driven by your construction company, so many architecture firms will recommend a company they know well and have worked with in the past. It’s still good to know how they’ll interact with each other, for example will the architect liaise with the contractor or will you need to do that yourself?
Here at Brightman Clarke Architects, our friendly and professional team are here to answer any of your questions so you know you’ve chosen the best firm for your project. For more information, call us on 0114 321 1869 or get in touch online today.