When you start working on a project, one of the people you will be speaking with the most is your architect. The architect plays a pivotal role in the design and execution of a construction project. They will come to you with lots of ideas, and the best way to collaborate on your project is to make sure you see eye to eye on the details. So here is our guide to how to effectively communicate with your architect.
Determine Your Priorities
One of the best ways that you can communicate with your architect is to set priorities for your project. The priorities for the project create a framework for you and your architect to collaborate. They can also act as a guide for communicating ideas.
Your priorities can be everything from necessary space allotment to finishing aesthetic details. Having your priorities together can help you and your architect stay on the same page throughout the project. Plus they’ll guarantee that you have a common place to come back to if you begin to stray.
When you first meet with your architect don’t be afraid to ask questions. They are there to help the construction process from the design to the build and beyond. Make sure that you are clear with your questions from the beginning so you don’t run into surprises later.
Here are some questions you should ask your architect when you first start working together.
- What is your design process and how do you manage it?
- What will the timeline be for the project?
- What are the challenges you see in this project?
- What is your fee structure?
- What can I do as part of the design process?
These questions will help you figure out critical information when it comes to communicating with your architect. You will be able to understand where you fit in the overall architectural design process. If you are unsure where you stand, you may start clashing with your architect when they give you ideas or plans that you weren’t expecting. Remember, you’re hiring an architect for their expertise in the field. So knowing how they tend to work on projects and the design process can help fill in any communication gaps along the way.
If you need more ideas on how to structure your questions and preliminary conversations with your architect check out these detailed tips from ZP Architects.
Throughout the process of working with an architect, don’t be afraid to ask clarifying questions. Understanding what is going on in the project can help keep everyone on track and feeling confident about the trajectory of the build.
Determine Your Lines of Communication
Once you have all of your questions answered and are in the midst of the design process, decide how you would like to communicate with your architect. Some people prefer phone calls anytime throughout the day, while others like structured meeting times. If there are emergencies along the way you will also need to know how to get in touch with one another.
After you have a call with your architect, you should also include a follow-up email outlining what was discussed and the next steps. This will help keep you and your architect on track. It also creates a document you can reference if you need to remember details or deadlines that you discussed.
Talk About the Budget
Conversations around money can be awkward. But when it comes to working on a large-scale commercial build, you and your architect must be on the same page. You should be discussing the budget since the onset of the project. Your architect should work within your budget constraints and bring up any concerns along the way. If you continue to be clear about the money in the project, you won’t run into any surprise charges down the line.
You should also be transparent about the fees and pay structure of your architect. Each architect may work with different payment structures and deadlines. Being clear about payment throughout the project can help you with effective communication. With all parties on the same page about payment, there is no worry of work not being done on time or money being lost along the way.
Commercial construction projects can be stressful and heated conversations can ensue. To effectively communicate with your architect, stay level-headed when you speak. You will get more done when you can both speak on an issue and come up with solutions than being angry or rude.
Working with an architect will ensure that you have professional designs and plans for your commercial project. Communication can be difficult from time to time, but by using this guide you’ll be able to have effective conversations throughout your time working with your architect.