The client-architect relationship is rather private, involving talks of your hobbies, your habits, your tastes, and even your most intimate relationships. That's why you want the choice to be right the first time. The tips that follow will help you check the personality, design principles and communication skills of your prospects. At the end of the day, you want to find the architect who's just right for your budget, your situation and your preferences.


Like many other professionals, Architectural and Engineering Fort Lee get a good portion of their business by word of mouth. Ask your relatives, friends and professional network for referrals. However, don't feel limited to your own community. In this day and age, it's not surprising for an architect to work remotely on a project. 


An architect's profile or website must be rich with information on their past work and give you a vibe for what they hold important in their design practice. Sustainability? A neighborhood fit? Being bold?  Ask other professionals in a related field. For instance, general contractors and interior designers can be great sources of referrals. A contractor and an architect who work well as a team is probably the most crucial ingredient of a  successful project. 

The American Institute of Architects 

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and other organizations also make good sources of prospects. 

 Architects vs. Designers

As you look for design help, you may encounter people who refer to themselves as architects or designers. Here's the difference. Licensed architects usually have a degree from an accredited college or university, have done a few thousand intern hours under the supervision of a licensed professional, and have passed eight challenging exams. 


On the other hand, designers are those whose experience may consist of a drafting class at a city college -- or they may even hold a master's in architecture from Harvard with decades of experience as a principal at one of the biggest firms in the country, except they didn't get their license for some reason. 

Initial Consultation 

The moment you've found one good prospect or two, it's time to interview them. The initial consultation must cost you nothing, or find another prospect. Ask questions. 

Do you have work samples I can see? How do you intend to approach my project? How much do I pay you and how? How long to completion are we looking at, from design to building permits to construction? Obviously, there are more questions than that, but the above should start you off on the right foot. 



No matter the size of your budget, what's important is, be upfront from the start. A great architect will give you a great design to fit your buck. Finally, a great architect may also cost you more than an average one, but he's usually worth it. Click here if you have questions.