What to look for when hiring an architect & what questions to ask an architect

What to look for when hiring an Architect.

Are you thinking of hiring an Architect?

Unsure of what to ask an Architect during your first meeting?

Deciding to hire an architect is a very common process for many homeowners.

They usually have practical issues they want to solve, its very common that people are frustrated by the layout and size of their kitchen area, or its too dark and gloomy.

They often are responding to the arrival of children and looking for more space to allow the family to expand, whether is extra bedrooms at first floor, or extra living space at ground floor.

Daylight is a very common issue, not surprisingly in such a cloudy country, people want to feel the benefit of sunlight and brightness as much as possible.

So how do you go about getting this new house you’re dreaming of? Contact an architect!

What do Architects do?

architect drawing

Architects can offer a wide variety of services some of which you may be unaware.

Services range from:

  • Planning Permission Application
  • Building Design
  • Interior Design
  • Project Management
  • Conservation skills for Protected and Historic Buildings
  • Measurement drawings & surveys

Where to look for an Architect?

Finding a reputable architect or one that is experienced in the type of design you’re thinking of doesn’t need to be difficult.

Ask around; do you know any friends or neighbors that have recently redesigned their home?

Look on RIAI; RIAI or The Royal Institute of the Architects of Ireland, is an official regulation body that regulates and supports Irish Architects.

To use the title Architect an architect must register with RIAI. To see if your architect if registered or to find a list of regulated architects check here.

The RIAI website also has an excellent checklist to ask yourself before seeking out an Architect which I highly recommend reading here

It also provides its members with back up and advice on new legislation, changes in the industry, new products and technology, and a Continuing Professional Development course every year is mandatory for all its members.

Social Media: Nowadays with the rise of Social Media you are sure to find reputable architects through Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Search online: Where would we be without Google?!

What to ask an Architect on the first meeting?

what to look for when hiring an architect?

So you’ve scoured your contact lists and searched every website and finally settled on an architect you believe can help design your new home.

I advise anyone beginning the process of building or restoring to take their time and gather as much information as possible.

I sometimes meet clients with folders full of photos or articles that they’ve taken from magazines. they know the end result they want to achieve but are nervous about the technical aspects of getting there.

They are sometimes addled because they’ve thought about different options and cant picture which one is best or whether what they want I can be built at all.

I see the role of an architect as being one of a facilitator, listening to what clients want and then trying to help them achieve their vision.

The most common question to ask when meeting with your architect for the first time is to see some of their previous work.

People normally ask at their first meeting about planning permission, whether its needed or not, about how to source a reliable builder, about how long a project will take, and how much it might cost.

I can advise them on all these issues and more and generally draw on experience of a similar type project that I’ve carried out and often give them the names of former clients whom they can call on and see at first hand how their project might look.

An architect should be proud of the work they’ve helped to create so if he/she isn’t willing to share their previous work it might ring alarm bells.

If you’ve done some research on the potential architect why not ask them face to face what design ideas they might have to solve your problem and see if they are in line with what you want for your home.

Design ideas can be unique to each individual so it’s important to try find a common ground at the beginning.

What to expect when hiring an Architect?

Now that you’ve met your architect, ticked off all your questions and are happy that together you can help solve your problem and create a beautiful home there are some small things to consider.


Pricing can vary between different Architects as unfortunately there is no set price. Some may provide fixed fee quotes, others opt for a percentage quote. As clients have a lot to consider John Flynn Architecture tries to make it as fair and reasonable as possible.

There are many resources required by Architects to complete their projects such as office space, computer equipment and most importantly professional indemnity insurance and as a result of these factors prices can vary.

Length of Project:

Again this factor can vary depending on the type of project, sourcing of materials and scale of project. The Architect in question should be able to advise on a timeframe.



And there you have it! Our comprehensive guide to making sure you get the best Architect for your project. Don’t be afraid to call several Architects and get a feel for their work. At the end of the day you want to make sure you chose the right one who can help make your dream design come true! If you have any further questions or have an idea you want to discuss why not give us a ring on (01) 8183203 and we’d be happy to help!


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