Be sure to understand the consultants needed on your project beyond your Architect — such as Engineers, Expeditors, and Inspectors that may be needed depending on your project scope as each of those add cost, time, permits, and coordination to your project — depending on what the Architect recommends for your particular project.
Some Architects also only work with certain consultants and contractors from their rolodex during the duration of their work; so ensure to be clear on who they will be recommending to support your project as extended team members.
Discuss what services your provider is licensed for and can provide; especially if needs change during your project as your provider being able to fullfill numerous different roles could be advantageous for you. For example, amy green design is not only a licensed Architectural Firm, but also a provider of Interior Design services and provider of limited engineering services. This makes it more affordable, faster, and easier for all those items to be coordinated under one consultant on their project — amy green design — rather than needing several different providers for those different services.
Also, have your potential Architect educate you on what variables affect your project timeline and budget; especially as you may have different options and strategies available. Those options may include designing a strategy to determine whether or not permits will be needed for the project, if the building has a Certificate of Occupancy that will be affected by the renovation or not, if a Landmarks review is required and whether it could be a fast-track review or will need to be a much longer standard review, etc.
All those items affect both the cost and timeline or your project, so be sure to develop a strategy and understanding with your Architect of the options they recommend, the implications each of those options has, and as a result of the ultimate strategy they would recommend for your project as a result.
As building codes, zoning, and local regulations can be difficult to navigate, and most potential clients have limited knowledge of those requirements, often a feasibility study is recommended as a first step to a potential client in order to evaluate the regulations affecting the unique site, what would be able to be built or expanded there, and exploring the full potential the space has — all provided to the client BEFORE they commit to purchasing, leasing, or renovating a space. Those feasibility studies are something AGD offers without the client needing to commit to further future services. See if that is something your potential providers offer as well.
Also determine who you’ll be interacting with during the duration of your project, how many times you’ll be meeting face to face with them. and who at the firm will be supporting your project.
Regrettably, we often see among other firms, especially in mid to larger sized firms, that the owners of the firm will court a potential client in order to land their business, never to be seen again by the client once the contract is signed as staff only a couple of years out of school end up being the ones meeting with the client, managing the project, and creating the design and drawings throughout the duration of the project.
Instead, at amy green design, all your meetings will be face to face with myself and I’ll be the one personally responding to all client calls, texts, and emails during the duration of the project. Make sure Architects you’re interviewing can offer such assurances and will be held accountable to provide a similar standard of care to your project.