Hiring an architect or interior designer for your home is a big decision, and we find that many people don’t know how to evaluate whether a firm is the right one for their project or even what questions to ask. Like any partnership, the most successful collaborations between designer and client happen when both parties are honest and open about all aspects of working together. Here are ten questions that will help insure that you retain the firm that is right for you and your project.
- What do you think are the biggest opportunities and challenges of my project?
- Does your firm have a “look” or are you willing to incorporate my personal design ideas into your work?
- I know what I like when I see it, but I can’t picture what a finished room will look like just from plans. Will you provide photo-realistic renderings that will help me envision the finished space?
- How do you work cooperatively—and seamlessly—with the other professionals on our project such as builders, subcontractors, and others?
- What makes you the best firm for our specific project?
- How do you charge, and how do we know that you will adhere to our budget and time frames?
- How will you help us deal with the inevitable surprises that come up during any home design project?
- What would your clients say about working with your firm?
- What qualities do you look for in your clients that result in a successful partnership?
- What’s the worst client experience you have ever had and how do you avoid this kind of thing from happening again?
The client-architect relationship is very personal, involving discussions of your habits, your lifestyle, your tastes and your family. So you want the choice to be right. With answers to these questions, you’ll have a useful decision-making tool at your disposal to help you assess the personality, design approach and communication style of your candidates. Ultimately, you want to find the architect or interior designer who’s right for your project, for your budget and you.