Question 3. Can you provide references?
The intent of this question is to get a list of references from the designer so you can follow up and learn more about them from other parties. Just as you’d ask a builder for references of past projects and past clients, it’s important to do the same with designers.
Ideally, you’ll want to ask the designer to provide contact information from former clients. By calling past clients, you get a chance to ask them how their experience was working with the designer, what they enjoyed about the process, or if anything didn’t work out well. If a designer doesn’t have much experience, ask them to provide references for consultants or people they’ve worked with in the past.
Your ultimate goal is to learn first hand how the designers work with others and if possible, how the design process and experience was for former clients. Were they professional, good listeners, and respectful? What can you learn about their character, their work ethic, and their experiences that may tell you something about how compatible they would be with you?
By learning what differentiates your designer from others, by understanding how they work and bill for their services, and by confirming their experience and expertise with first-hand accounts, you’ll be able to find a designer or architect that’s best for you and who will ultimately be able to help you create the home you’ve always wanted.