Top 10 Questions to ask yourself before meeting an architect
1. What are my overall ambitions for the project; my ideas, my vision and my concerns?
All projects needs to satisfy users/ customers/ client; only that can not be an ambition for the project; we need a vision beyond that and see your project after 20years and the impact on the neighbourhood / company and in your family life.
2.What are my aesthetic, emotional and practical preferences?
There are choices and we need to choose them in the end. So make a decision now to be clear with an architect. So you are sure about what you are talking about it. And listen to the architect even if you don't agree with it. It may improve and speed up your selection process.
3. Who will make the critical decisions? Will it be me, my family, or a committee from my work or my community?
To build we need to make few decisions but to design we need make one time critical decisions. So decide on your critical decision making team members first and not to forget architect will be one among them and few number of people will make it better for the project. Too many cooks will spoil the broth!
4. Where will the resources come from to create and operate my project? Have I decided upon a schedule and budget?
Know your budget and from where it comes and When it will be ready in your hands(yes in hands). Only this makes project to be on time or slow or delayed to complete it. Be 200% sure about project cost limitation. Don't think that you can stretch little bit later. No one knows about your stretch limits apart from your fitness instructor. Work on right budget and stick with it (architect will guide you) ; don't underestimate it then your project will suffer; don't be lavish and luxrious then society will suffer.
Schedule the project on practical ground like based on the location, site conditions, neighbours co-ordination, permission/ approval time, contractor's ability, your funds readyness, your time for the project. And seek architect's advice on (you pay for it) and work with it (thats why you appointed them).
5.Do I have an interest in sustainable (green) design? Am I willing to pay a little extra up front on systems that will save energy or bring other operational savings and pay back over time?
Yes. check about what is sustainable design (link here). Discuss with your family members/ team. It is for the good future and good for society and better for the eco-systems. If you do, you may worry little less about next year's summer/ winter. They are cool in summer and warm in winter; that is the nature of earth buildings and sustainable design. The more green buildings built then upfront cost will come down naturally. Let us not think it as for a few when it should be norm for the society.
6. Do I have previous experience with design and construction?
If so, in what ways was I successful?
Was the experience disappointing in any way?
If yes, how can I avoid repeating disappointments?
Your previous experience with architect and construction industry may help you to decide only 10% more. The choices and chances are plenty in construction industry; so you will come across few more disappointments.
You don't have to worry about experience and you appoint experienced 'professionals' for your project. This 'one' decision will reduce the risk of many disappointments in future.
7. Do I have specific ideas on how to translate my intended activities into spaces; function, character, finish and area (square footage)?
This is related to where all you lived/ worked before and how you want to visualise/ spacioulise on this new space. Your experience on various life styles of living and the this new proposed one should be compared and not necessary to be same or duplicate. You might be lived in a apartment but when you want to live in a villa you need to map your brain for the new space. (Architects will work on this for you)
8. Why do I need an architect?
Ask yourself or your friend who worked with an architect before. You need to know why we need the professionals and their role in society. Your affordabilty on design consultant may vary from project to project; it is better that 'some one' guides your vision and regulates your money for best way of utilisation. This some can't be your uncle or aunt unless otherwise he/she is an architect. Professionals exist so the Profession exists not to exit from the society.
9. What if I don't do this project?
Imagine the situation what if you don't do this project now or never. You need atleast 10 compelling reasons to do it now! This will propel the project well and you save everyone's time and energy.
10. You will have your own 10th unique question here... answer yourself to understand your project need better