Window shopping is like day dreaming... the possibilities you imagine are boundless. The ripening of a prospective new design inspires boundless imaginings. That is until the reality of the long path ahead crushes you in an avalanche of anxiety. But fear not, here's the answers to the questions you haven't even thought of yet.
Building design is an artsy profession which may leave you in the dark as to what designers are actually doing with their time and your money. The architecture design process has five parts outlined by the AIA; please, see the image below to learn more.
BAD EXAMPLE 1
You enjoy relishing the conceptual beginnings of the budding design process. The designer you have chosen feels the same way. If the practice the designer works for pushes deadlines to maximize monthly billings, your designer may not be able to give you the time you need to fully develop the concept to your satisfaction.
BAD EXAMPLE 2
You have a need, require quality work, but not interested in conceptual fluff. Your designer's practice pushes them to engage clients frequently and encourages design exploration: scribbles on paper and cardboard models. The practice may have expectations of your designer that you may not want to invest time or money into.
A tour of the practice is a great way to identify the way your designer works and the environment the practice cultivates. Additionally, they will be eager to show you projects similar to yours; therefore, ask for details about how they approach building design process [above]. Be certain to ask about existing client relationships and whether or not they have repeat business. Finally, your instincts will guide you towards the perfect practice.