Searching for professional help is often challenging, especially if you've not done it before. The Internet is great as an early step to help narrow down the options, but for every positive review or testimonial, there is a horror story. It can be hard to determine which reviews to believe. Often, the best thing to do when looking for, say, an architect, is to meet with prospective firms and ask your own questions.
That can lead to a whole new riddle, though. What are the best questions to ask? Should I mention green design, and what about it specifically? How detailed should I get with asking about questions relating to my own project? What about money, how do I establish fees? With all of these questions racing through your mind, it can be a bit daunting to determine where to start.
But, as Proudgreenhome.com reports, the American Institute of Architects can make the task of questioning an architectural firm in order to discover if they are the right fit a much more manageable task. The AIA has provided a list of questions to address when meeting with a possible architect to make sure they are right for the client and the project.
Asking about their design philosophy, what sets them apart from other architects with similar experience, and who from the firm you will be dealing with on a regular basis may all sound like questions asked during a job interview, but that is basically what this is: you interviewing an architecture firm to see if they're the right candidate for the job.
Other aspects to touch on are asking if they are interested enough if your project to make it a priority, what the estimated timetable would be, and what, in terms of design, they expect you to provide.
As the old saying goes, there are no stupid questions. It is better to be thorough and cover all your bases as opposed to finding out after the project has started that there was a better firm out there for the project. The construction process can already be stressful enough; there is no reason to exacerbate the stress by making a poor and avoidable decision early on.
For the full list of questions provided by the AIA, click the link below.