Asking your architect the right questions can be the key to success when starting the process of building a custom home or beginning a custom home renovation. Choosing the right architect can make or break the outcome of your project; the two of you are going to be communicating quite often, so it is important you are fully informed and comfortable with your decision before you begin.
- Ask About Commitment: Are you the kind of client who prefers to be more hands off and let the pros handle everything, or do you want to be involved in every single detail? Be clear and up front with your architect about what your intentions are, and in turn, ask them what type of commitment they expect from you. How often are they going to want or need to meet? What types of things can be handled with a phone call versus an in-person visit? If your schedule does not permit meeting or handling these matters during business hours, are they able to accommodate you by making themselves available on weekends or before/after you are off work? Making sure everyone is on the same page is imperative.
- Ask About Costs: Nobody likes surprises when it comes to money. It is best to be up front and ask about the architect’s fee structure and how much you can expect to pay in additional expenses. Some firms can offer a tiered structure, some can offer an all-inclusive package, and some find an a la carte menu works best. However your architect chooses to configure their rates, be sure you are up front about your budget from the beginning. Inquire about potential additional or “hidden” fees such as administrative fees or anything else unforeseen in a typical scenario, just in case. You want to make sure you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into, and what your project has the potential to cost. It is better to prepare for paying more and be pleasantly surprised to come in under budget.
- Ask About References: Before you sign on the dotted line, always check your references. Any reputable business should be more than happy to share the contact info for past clients, but don’t just take their word for it, actually follow up with the references they provide. Make sure they give you a few different contacts including other architects and contractors they’ve worked with in the past, in addition to home owners. Understanding the full spectrum of the way they do business on every level is very important and can be quite telling of the experience you will have as well.
MH Akers Custom Homes has a reputation of providing superior custom home services, including architectural services for over two decades. Hank has experience handling the top custom projects in the greater Memphis area. Contact MH Akers today!