LA Design + Construction

Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring a Remodeling Architect

Interview Questions to Ask When Hiring a Remodeling Architect

Although hiring an architect is often only considered when building a new house or other new structure, an architect can be a huge asset for your remodel as well. A great architect can find unique solutions to help you create outstanding an space that utilizes all the assets of your home.

When you work with LA Design & Construction, we provide a turnkey service and select trusted architects that complement your style. In the event that you are hiring an architect on your own, Here are five questions you should ask any prospective architect for your remodeling project.

Interview at least three architects before choosing one. Remember, it’s not only important that they know what they’re doing, but you also need to make sure you can get along with them and that you like their ideas, because you’ll be living inside their vision for your home for years.

Do you have a personal style?

Architects are artists as much as they are engineers, and each has their preferred architectural styles and design elements. Take care to find an architect whose own style matches your home’s style. An architect who favors a minimalist, Asian-influenced style, for example, might not be the right choice for your New England Victorian home. Ask each architect you interview about their technique and what styles they like to work in. If the architect is worth their weight in salt, they will tell you if they aren’t the right architect for you, especially if what you’re asking for is way outside their style. You can also ask to see a portfolio, and look for past projects similar to yours.

Who exactly will be creating my design?

Many architectural firms have their interns or junior designers work on projects. This could be fine for your remodel, but you should decide for yourself whether you’re fine with someone other than the architect in front of you actually preparing your design. Don’t be afraid to ask. In many cases at mid-sized firms, the lead architect will only review the plans proposed by their junior designers. In even larger firms, the lead architect likely won't ever see the plans at all; the plans will be reviewed by a managing architect with the partner's name on it. Of course, if you hire a one-man band, this won’t be an issue.

What project management services do you offer?

Many architects are willing to do more than the drawings; they can act as the director of your remodeling project. There will be a lot of people going in and out of your home. The architect can make sure your contractors are doing the job according to the plans, make sure payments are on-time, and oversee everyone’s activities. This service can be awesome if your project is of any decent size.

Can you give me three-dimensional drawings?

Many people have trouble visualizing building plans in three dimensions, especially from blueprints. To overcome this challenge, an architect may be able to offer you a 3-D view of your project. In fact, many firms can create a digital 3-D illustration of the space in such detail that you can see exactly what the architect has planned. (Even if they don’t have a computer for the work, they should be able to draw you color pictures to make it easier for you to visualize the final product.)

How do you charge?

An architect will charge between 5% and 20% of the construction cost, depending on the complexity of the job, how esteemed they are, and what services they offer. Your bill will need to be paid monthly and payments will typically go into the same escrow account as the project money. All of this should be predictable, but be sure to ask in advance as the architect’s labor costs will automatically add a significant cost to the project.

A great architect can turn a simple remodeling project into a work of art. They can also make sure you don’t make any huge mistakes, like tearing down a load-bearing wall. Talk to several architects and ask lots of questions, then trust their professionalism to make your home amazing.