Contemporary Home Architect - Questions to Ask Before Hire One

January 11, 2023

Choosing an architect is a major choice. Most people talk to two or three architects before choosing one. We all know the most basic things to ask, like references and examples of their work. But sometimes you don't realise how little you know. We're here to help you dig a little deeper by giving you an insider's view of important questions to ask a contemporary home architect.

What Is the Design Process?

Programming, design development, and construction drawings are the main parts of the architectural design process. Still, each expert has their way of managing the design process, so it's good to know how the one you're thinking about works.

During the design process, it is important to consider whether you will use the design-build method. In a design-build project, you choose the architect and builder, both involved from the start. If you're going to work with an interior designer, you should include them from the beginning.

What Is the Projected Timeline for My Project?

With today's hot market and ongoing problems in the supply chain, it's more important than ever to set realistic deadlines for architecture and construction projects. Find out when your contemporary home architect can start working on your project and how long they think it will take them to finish.

When you look at the proposed schedule, it's important to remember that meeting this schedule will take work from everyone. How much time is set aside for you to review plans, give feedback, or go along with them? Will your project have a manager and a drafter, or does your architect do everything alone? The timeline will be pushed back if it takes you longer than expected to give feedback. Also, if your architect is a one-person business and goes out of town unexpectedly, that can cause a delay. These are just a few things to consider when reviewing your timeline. Open communication is a must; if you're worried about time, we want you to tell us immediately.

What Prior Work-Related Experience Do You Have? (City, County, or Neighborhood?)

Zoning and design rules can differ in each city, county, and subdivision. Getting a permit and how long it takes to get one can vary greatly from one place to another. Some subdivisions have strict rules about how homes should look, and before a new home can be built, it must be approved by a design review committee. Talk to your architect about how much they know about the area where you want to build.

How Do You Charge?

Cost should only sometimes be the most important thing when choosing an architect, but architect fees can be hard to understand. Before you sign a contract with a contemporary home architect, it's very important to know how much they charge. There are four main ways for architects to figure out how much they should charge: by the hour, a set amount, a percentage of the cost of the work, or by the size of the project in square feet.

How Do You Balance the Budget?

Be bold and ask your architect how they plan to handle the budget. Budget management is a team effort, so find out what steps your architect will take and what steps you can take to stay within your budget.

One reason we recommend a design-build approach is because of this. The whole team can manage the budget together by getting the builder and interior designer involved as early as possible. Having the whole team look over the designs and give feedback is a great way to make sure we stay within your budget while designing.


One of the best ways to make sure your project goes well is to do your research and ask the right questions when you hire a contemporary home architect. We want you to put together your team early and get everyone involved. Choose people with whom you can talk easily and who will keep the communication lines open during the project.


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