Architects have their own personal artistic styles, ethos of construction, and technique of work. A home-owner who wants to hire an architect for designing residential property or revamp aging structures should pinpoint a professional whose style and technique is aligned to their project scale and needs. The plethora costs of erecting a residential home can be minimized by the due diligence of a reputable and reliable architect. Before signing a retainer agreement, probe the standing of several architects by interviewing them, appraising the quality of past works and ensuring the fee structure dovetails into what they envisage for the project.

Qualifications & Competence

The general rule when working with professionals is-a client should hire a licensed architect who has met the educational and experience requirements as laid down by the Board of Architectural Licensure in your state. Once you’ve verified the professional has a current practicing license and a solid record online, this will minimize the likelihood of falling prey to a rogue or an unscrupulous architect. Similarly, in case of professional negligence by the architect, a licensed professional will be easier to trace and prosecute, and obtain compensatory damages from their insurance cover, unlike a rogue who will vanish once the check is honored.


The homeowner-architect relationship is overly-personal, residential clients find their architects by word of mouth in their neighborhoods and networks. Visit your state’s architectural licensure board’s website and others like the American Institute of Architects (AIA) to find out if your potential candidate is indeed a licensed professional architect, their record and firm they work for. Ensure the architect adheres to the AIA Code of Conduct and Ethics, has undergone rigorous post-graduate education courses, works in a resourceful firm of architects, and strives to maintain high industry standards of service delivery. Familiarize yourself with the architect by interrogating past clients and other professionals like engineers and contractors who’re acquainted with him or her.

Conducting Interviews

Once you’ve foraged for potential candidates and jotted down several names, you can interview firms on your list through phone or online chat. Cursory interviews over the phone or chatting can enable you to home in an architect who fits your project needs and budgetary plans. Get an appointment with the firm and demand for documents proving the partners’ qualifications, experience and completed projects. Once you’ve identified the firm you, seek clarification on whether they’ll charge a consultation fee. Next visit the firm physically for a comprehensive interview. At this stage, you should elicit information on who will be in charge of your project, the firm’s design perspective, accomplishments, completion timeframe, and budget.

Building Rapport With Your Architect

If you want your architectural project to come to fruition, focus on building a relationship of mutual understanding and meeting of minds between you and the architect. Insist on interviewing the architect who will be deployed to design your home and oversee construction beforehand. Interviewing the actual candidate will determine earlier whether you’ll have a seamless working relationship. The most ideal architect should intuitively find common ground with the client’s mental picture. They demonstrate technical prowess and artistic ingenuity, as well as impeccable communication skills to facilitate a two-tier flow of ideas between the parties.