How to Prepare for Your First Meeting with Your Architect

When it comes to that first meeting with an architect, there are a number of crucial steps you should be taking in preparation for it. By following these five, you’ll find yourself much better equipped to create your dream custom home.

1 | Find a Local Architect

As members of a digital age, it is easy to assume that a virtual meeting with a popular architect will be of equal or greater value to you than a personal visit from someone more local. But in fact, the opposite is true. You want to find a designer who can and has walked the area you intend to build in, someone who has extensive experience with the local codes and requirements. An out-of-state architect would have to start from the beginning. 

In addition, your architect should be well-versed in both the styles of your surroundings and the style you wish to build in. If you’re planning to build in the Pacific Northwest, for example, an architect with experience in the weather, topography, and aesthetic of Washington will help you craft a home that both fits your vision and embraces its environment.

2 | Prepare Some Questions

Once you’ve set a date to meet, it’s time to determine whether you will decide to work with them on your project. It’s okay if you don’t know entirely what to expect. That makes your first meeting with them the perfect opportunity to ask questions and build relationship. As you do, begin to determine how that partnership will progress. Ask about their design philosophy, their approach to client relationships, their estimation process, and average timelines. The more questions you have going into it, the better prepared you will be to make an informed decision. At the end of the day, you’re looking for design partner you feel comfortable sharing with, asking questions of, and trusting to make exceptional design decisions with your goals in mind.

3 | Know What You Want

During this meeting, you can expect your architect to ask questions of their own as well. So before they ask, have some form of outline for what you want in your new home. 

Analyze your expected lifestyle, what you like or dislike about your current home, and what your favorite design styles are. Determine your budget and how much involvement you want to have. Make a portfolio or a Pinterest board with your favorite houses and reference images. Having these prepared in advance will allow your architect to answer your questions more accurately and help you have a more constructive conversation. 

In addition, a good architect will help you to grow that vision even further, fleshing it out with tailored questions and practical insights into something that truly shines.

4 | Choose an Architect You Trust

You already have an idea of what you want your custom home’s design to look like, but your architect has years of experience with what will and won’t work. That’s why it’s important to choose someone who’s willing to put in the time and effort to seamlessly merge your dreams with reality. Take the time to find an architect who both listens to your vision and also offers critical input to improve and perfect your home design. Establishing a trust-based relationship with your architect will result in a far better house than you could’ve designed on your own.

5 | Be Willing to Adapt

Every new home will face challenges and unexpected difficulties. When your ideal tile pattern is discontinued or the foundation requires costly reinforcements, that trust in your architect will become vitally important. 

That’s why we at GHDA emphasize transparency and communication. A good architect will be able to make new recommendations that can minimize those expenses and enhance the appearance, functionality, and efficiency of your home, all while still preserving the essence of your original vision. If your architect truly knows his craft, they will have a plan and a budget for any contingency that may come your way.

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Finding the right architect can certainly feel daunting. There are countless factors to consider that will all affect which skills and traits you’re looking for. But by following these steps, you will be prepared to make an informed decision based on careful preparation and a clear vision of the end result. If you’re ready to schedule a meeting, reach out to our team here for more information.