ArchiTalks -- Advice for Clients

This post is part of the ArchiTalks series in which Bob Borson of Life of an Architect selects a theme and a group of us (architects who also blog) all post on the same day and promote each other’s blogs. This month’s theme is Advice for Clients… To read how others interpreted the theme please click the links at the bottom of this post…

Typically, our first meeting with clients is done as an advice session where we can get to know one another and very often the site or building that is at hand. The majority of our professional work is in single family residential design. Here are our top 3 pieces of advice for clients:

1. Trust your architectural professional.

A lot of clients seem to think they know it all, but this can be made worse when they don't fully trust you. Assuming you've hired a competent architectural professional, trust them to do their job! As a client, you will feel much less stressed, and empower the architect to architect [see below].

2. Let your architect, architect.

Frank Gehry had a great line that resonates with a lot of architects:

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There are certain instances where we wonder if our client or potential client really means to hire a draftsman over an architect. It's not uncommon to get inquiries that state they've already figured out the design of their addition or at least where the addition needs to go. If you're a potential client reading this, knowing where your addition needs to go will not save you money. We don't discount our fees after hearing that you've already figured out what you think might be "the hard part." You don't go to the doctor because you already know exactly what's wrong with you and to say "by the way, you really ought to prescribe me such and such." 

Our best project clients are the ones who let us architect. They lay out their wishlist of needs, program, current problems, and then we help solve and resolve them. 

3. It takes time. There are many moving parts. 

One of the priorities a lot of our clients have is with regards to time. They've just bought a place, or are in escrow, and need to be able to move into their remodeled home within a certain period of time. 

While very often we can hit the ground running and begin working on their project, this doesn't always mean we can have permit drawings ready in two weeks. Besides the architect, there are also many other team members and moving parts. You may need a civil engineer's site survey, an arborist report, structural engineering is almost always a part of every project ,

Marica McKeel - Studio MM (@ArchitectMM)
ArchiTalks: Advice for Working with an Architect

Jeff Echols - Architect Of The Internet (@Jeff_Echols)
Advice for ALL Clients

Lee Calisti, AIA - Think Architect (@LeeCalisti)
advice to clients

Lora Teagarden - L² Design, LLC (@L2DesignLLC)
ArchiTalks: Advice for Clients

Collier Ward - One More Story (@BuildingContent)
Trust Your Architect

Eric T. Faulkner - Rock Talk (@wishingrockhome)
Advice List -- From K thru Architect

Rosa Sheng - EquitybyDesign [EQxD] (@EquityxDesign)

Michele Grace Hottel - Michele Grace Hottel, Architect (@mghottel)
advice for clients

Brian Paletz - The Emerging Architect (@bpaletz)
A Few Reminders

Eric Wittman - intern[life] (@rico_w)
[tattoos] and [architecture]

Emily Grandstaff-Rice - Emily Grandstaff-Rice FAIA (@egrfaia)
Changing the World

Drew Paul Bell - Drew Paul Bell (@DrewPaulBell)
Advice for Clients

Jeffrey Pelletier - Board & Vellum (@boardandvellum)
Questions to Ask an Architect in an Interview: Advice for Clients

Samantha R. Markham - The Aspiring Architect (@TheAspiringArch)
Dear Client,

Nisha Kandiah - ArchiDragon (@ArchiDragon)
Advice for clients

Rusty Long - Rusty Long, Architect (@rustylong)

Keith Palma - Architect's Trace (@cogitatedesign)
Advice 4 Building

Gabriela Baierle-Atwood - Gabriela Baierle-Atwood (@gabrielabaierle)
What I wish clients knew