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We often get asked a wide variety of questions about architecture projects. Some of them come up at cocktail parties, some at client meetings, and even on construction sites!

In the spirit of David Letterman, here are the first 5 of the top 10 questions we get asked about an architecture project:

1. Why do I need an architect?

  • Few people realize how complicated it is to build–that is, until they find themselves lost in the maze of design options, building codes, zoning laws, contractors, and so on. No two building projects are exactly alike, so there is no single, clear-cut path to follow.
  • The architect is the one professional who has the education, training, experience, and vision to guide you through the entire design and construction process, from helping you define what you want to build to helping you get the most for your construction dollar.
  • Whether you are remodeling, adding on, or building from scratch, the architect can guide the way. Working with contractors and other construction professionals, architects can help you end up with a well-designed project that meets your needs and works with your budget and time frame.

2. Why won’t the city let me do X?

  • Most municipalities have laws and statutes call Zoning Bylaws, which dictate things like height overall size, and minimum distances from property lines. Generally their intention is to provide some uniformity in the streetscape as well as limit some uses that have been deemed not in keeping with a residential area. But even this is changing as more and more mixed use areas become mainstream so you can look for zoning to undergo changes to keep up with development over the next ten years or so.

3. How much do you charge per hour?

  • We prefer to talk about ROI (return on investment). This is likely a client’s biggest purchase in their life (often six or seven figures in construction costs) so having a trusted partner to look out for their interests and make sure that the money is spent wisely is a good investment in the long term.

4. How long will it take to do a renovation/addition/new house?

  • It depends on the scope of the project. To further complicate matters if a project requires minor variances from your municipality it could add time to the schedule as well. But for a custom house we usually budget just under a year, from initial meeting to drawings to tender through construction, if there are no variances needed.

5. Do you select the contractor?

  • We help advise you in selecting the contractor and we can suggest ones that we consider well suited for your particular project. In most cases you as the client will hire the contractor directly and pay him directly though we can assist in the construction management process, depending on our specific arrangement for your architecture project.

Do you have any questions you’d like us to answer? Ask them below in the question box and we’ll be sure to do our best!

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So, what do you think ?