What to Know from Your Architect Before Starting Home Construction
By Laura McElroy

The skills of an architect are important when it’s time to remodel your home or when you want to build a new one. The architect ensures your home design is professionally done and when necessary, they follow-up on the project to ensure the structure follows the plan strictly. 

The market is full of highly skilled architects and it can be hard when choosing the right architect for your project. Asking a few questions can help you make a firm decision without problems.  

Do you charge for an initial meeting?

Some architects will not charge you for the first consultative meeting. This is a way of attracting clients to their business. Other architects will charge for the first meeting because they are not sure if you will give them business.

Not all projects require the services of an architect. If you want to repair the foundation of your house, you should speak to a foundation repair contractor instead of an architect. Always ensure you ask if the architect will charge you for a meeting so that you go to them prepared with the fee. 

Do you have any references? 

A set of sample plans alone cannot be proved enough that the architect is competitive in the field. Before you give them business, let them give you a list of projects they’ve been involved in. 

Once you get the contacts, take some time and find out from the clients how they rate the architect. Some architects could be very good in drawing plans, but very poor in customer relations or relations with workers. 

You can also find out from contractors who have worked with the architect the kind of personality the architect is and if you are satisfied with the feedback, you can formally tie-up with them for the project. 

How much do you charge for residential projects?

Different architectures will use different formulas to calculate their charges. Some will charge a lump sum fee, while others will charge per project size. You must ask how the firm calculates their charges and weigh if you can afford their charges.

Sometimes as the construction work is ongoing, the contractor might ask you to consult with the architect and make adjustments to the plan. Confirm with the architect if there will be accrued charges as a result of changes in the plan. 

Before construction work begins, it is also crucial to establish a worthy building materials supplier to ensure your project will not stall because of a lack of materials. If you are in Kansas City, Lumber One are specialists in the supply of lumber, decking, doors and windows, siding, and much more. 

Other than you, who else will you involve in the project?

The architect might be the overall figure in the company with several professionals working under him. In most cases, the architect will visit the project site once and hand over the work to their assistant to carry on. 

The important information to find out from the architect is whether sending a junior architect will impact the fee and if the impact is negative. Ask also if his substitute will observe the same standards that the architect would have observed. 

Are you a registered architect?

Architects are governed by law and the professional term is only applicable to those that are officially registered as architects. Some companies can hire architects directly from college without allowing them to go through the registration process.

If a practicing architect is registered, they will be keen to observe the code of ethics that govern them. Because of the code of ethics, they will likely do quality work with high-level professionalism. 


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