initial meeting: client       architect common questions


ARB (Architects Registration Board) published the essential guide for clients on how to prepare for the initial meeting with an architect. You can see it here.


In addition to the document above, please find below a wider list of key points you might want to discuss with us during our first meeting:


questions to architect

questions to client



questions to architect


- What is your design philosophy?

- How interested are you in this project?

- How busy are you?

- What sets your firm apart from other architects with similar experience?

- Do you have experience with the building type and size of my project?

- Will you share with me a portfolio of similar projects and provide a list of client references?

- Who from the architecture firm will I be dealing with on a regular basis? Is this the person who will design my project?

- What is included in your services?

- What jobs are excluded from your services?

- Explain the service that would best for me.

- How often will you update you on the progress of your project?

- What information do you need from you before they can start work?

- What will you show you along the way to explain the project? Will you see drawings or sketches?

- What services do you provide during construction?

- What role do you have during construction? Am I expected to work with the contractor directly?

- Are you interested enough in this project to make it a priority?

- What challenges do you foresee for my project?

- What do you see as the important issues or considerations in my project?

- What are the steps in the design process, and how are they organized?

- How will you help me to fully understand the scope and sequence of the project? Will you utilize models, drawings, or computer animation?

- Do you have experience with “green” or sustainable design?

- Do you regularly integrate low or no cost sustainable design strategies into projects?

- Considering the many areas that may be affected by sustainable design, how will you determine which options to pursue?

- If sustainable design technologies are implemented, do upfront costs exist that may affect the construction budget? What are the expected pay back times?

- How do you establish fees?

- What would you expect the fee to be for this project?

- When do they have to be paid?

- In anticipation of a formal proposal with costs, what would you expect your fee to be for this project?

- If the scope of the project changes later in the project, will there be additional fees? How will these fees be justified? How will this be communicated to me?

- What other design consultants will I need?

- What are their charges likely to be?

- Will I have to pay VAT on fees and construction?

- What is your estimated timetable for my project?

- When can you start?

- What will be the key milestone dates for the design work, approvals and construction?

- At what point will I start receiving your charges?

- How disruptive will construction be? How long does the architect expect it to take to complete your project? 

- Do you have any other concerns?



our questions to you


- What do you want to achieve? (For example a new extension to a house, a conversion of a property or a new dwelling etc.)

- What do you want the architect to do for you?

- What are you looking for in an architect?

- What is your budget?

- Do you have any time constraints?

- Your authority: who will be making the decisions about the designs, costs and day-to-day matters when the project is underway?

- What size home do you think you need?

- How much would you like to spend on your home or remodel?

- What is your schedule? When would you like the project to be completed?

- How much time (or money) are you willing to spend on maintenance?If this is a new home, have you selected a site?

- How much do you want to be involved in the design? Construction? Product selections?

- Will you do any of the Construction work yourself?

- Do you have any preferences for materials?

- Are you interested in doing a “green” home?

- Do you want to use an interior designer, landscape designer?

- Do you have a contractor in mind? Would you like help in selecting one?

- How do you want to be contacted – in writing/email, via phone or face to face?

- Your design style: are you looking for a design in keeping with the existing building? Do you want a contemporary or high-tech design? Are you concerned about having a sustainable or ecological design?

- Your reasons for embarking on this building project: what activities are intended for it?

- Describe your current home. What do you like about it? What do you dislike about it? What do you want in your next home that your current home lacks?

- Describe your family. Who lives at home? What are the ages of children (if any)?

- Describe your lifestyle. What activities does your family participate in?

- Do you work at home?

- Do you entertain often?

- How much time will you spend at home? What rooms are the most important to you?

- What are specifics of spaces that you need? How many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc?

- Are there any special rooms or spaces you would like (i.e. theater, game room, office, etc.)?

- Do any of the residents have special needs?


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