The 3 Most Important Questions To Ask Before Hiring A Designer or Architect

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Question 1. What makes you different from other designers and why do you want to work on this project?

The intent of this question is to differentiate each designer from the others and learn why he or she is interested in your project.

Many designers can create great designs. But what sets them apart from the others? Is it:

  • their design style
  • their specialization
  • their reliability and affordability
  • their name and reputation
  • their training or education
  • their contacts at the building department
  • the services they offer
  • their fun collaborative design process
  • their unique mission and core values
  • or something else?

Don’t make the mistake of working with someone because they are your friend, they are the cheapest, or they call themselves the best. Choose someone based on the design style or project characteristics that are important to you.

If you want to build a net-zero house, find someone with experience or an interest in sustainable design. If you are building in a location that has a lengthy review and approval process, find someone who has experience in getting projects approved quickly. If you are a fervent believer in giving back and supporting the community, find a designer who does pro bono or volunteer work in their community and has a strong passion for serving others.

At the same time, you want to know why they are interested in your project. You don’t want them to need the job; you want them to want it. Listen to how they describe what they find interesting about your project. You want them to be excited about your project.

The point is, you need to find someone whom you can get along with, who listens and understands what you want to create, who has the capacity to create it, and who really wants to genuinely help you build the home you want to have.

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Yvonne Riggie

Yvonne Riggie is a licensed architect at YR Architecture + Design, a modern residential architecture firm. She is also the founder of the OPEN DOOR project, an online platform to build confidence and motivate first time homebuilders to take action in creating their dream homes.