Before You Begin Your Project

20 Questions to Answer Before You Begin Your New Project

Answering these questions will make it easier to chat with your architect. The more detail you can provide your architect with, the easier it will be for him or her to address your specific needs.


  1. Describe your current home. What do you like about it? What is missing? oWhat dn’t you like?
  2. Do you want to change the space you have?
  3. Do you what to build a new home?
  4. Why do you want to build a house or add to or renovate your current home? Do you need more room? Are children grown and moving on? Is your lifestyle changing?
  5. What is your life-style? Are you at home? Do you work at home? Do you entertain often? How much time do you spend in the living areas: bedrooms, kitchen, den, or office, utility space, etc.?
  6. How much time and energy are you willing to invest to maintain your home?
  7. If you are thinking of adding on, what functions/activities will be housed in a new space?
  8. What kind of spaces do you need, e.g., bedrooms, expanded kitchen, bathrooms, etc.?
  9. How many of those spaces do you think you need?
  10. What do you think the addition/renovation/new home should look like?
  11. If planning on a new home, what do you envision in this home that you don’t have now?
  12. How much can you realistically afford to spend?
  13. How soon would you like to be settled into your new home or addition? Are there rigid time constraints?
  14. If you are contemplating building a home, do you have a site selected?
  15. Do you have strong ideas about design styles? What are your design preferences?
  16. Who will be the primary contact with the architect, contractor, and others involved in designing and building your project? (It is good to have one point of contact to prevent confusion and mixed messages.)
  17. What qualities are you looking for in an architect?
  18. How much time do you have to be involved in the design and construction process?
  19. Do you plan to do any of the work yourself?
  20. How much disruption in your life can you tolerate to add on to or renovate your home?

20 Questions to Ask Your Architect

  1. What does the architect see as important issues or considerations in your project? What are the challenges of the project?
  2. How will the architect approach the project?
  3. How will the architect gather information about your needs, goals, etc.?
  4. How will the architect establish priorities and make decisions?
  5. Who from the architecture firm will you be dealing with directly? Is that the same person who will be designing the project? Who will be designing your project?
  6. How interested is the architect in this project?
  7. How busy is the architect?
  8. What sets this architect apart from the rest?
  9. How does the architect establish fees?
  10. What would the architect expect the fee to be for this project?
  11. What are the steps in the design process?
  12. How does the architect organize the process?
  13. What does the architect expect you to provide?
  14. What is the architect’s design philosophy?
  15. What is the architect’s experience/track record with cost estimating?
  16. What will the architect show you along the way to explain the project? Will you see models, drawings or sketches?
  17. If the scope of the project changes later in the project, will there be additional fees? How will these fees be justified?
  18. What services does the architect provide during construction?
  19. 1How disruptive will construction be? How long does the architect expect it to take to complete your project?
  20. Do you have a list of past clients that your firm has worked with?