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4 Issues To Discuss With An Architect

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Folks thinking about architectural services often focus on the visual impact of buildings. An architect can help you with that, but there are other issues to cover, too. If you're preparing for a project, you should discuss these four concerns during your initial meetings.

Engineering Challenges

Buildings of all sizes create engineering stresses. These stresses include internal ones where the building's materials press on each other. Likewise, the engineering challenges can extend to the surrounding environment, especially the ground where the building will stand. Similarly, the surrounding environment will exert stress on the building.

The cheapest time to address potential engineering problems is before a shovel ever goes into the ground. Fortunately, architectural services providers have experience addressing these challenges. Likewise, they can use physical and computer models to study what is likely to happen.


When you choose materials for a project, they have to meet the previously discussed sets of engineering concerns. However, materials choices also extend to questions about the budget and even the appearance of a building. An architect and a client will have to balance these concerns without compromising on the integrity of the structure. This often involves trade-offs, and a professional can guide you through what you would gain or lose with each choice about materials.

Regulations and Compliance

Nearly all jurisdictions have rules about what you can or can't do with a building during construction or renovation efforts. Some of these are practical concerns, such as reinforcing the foundation of a house in an earthquake zone. Others may be aesthetic or historical, such as preserving the character of a business located on a highly touristed street in a city.

Contact the local code enforcement office to learn about the applicable regulations. Never assume the architect knows them all. Rules will vary even within municipalities, and a professional can't track them all. Also, it can be hard to keep up with changes.

Communication and Coordination

As a project advances, more stakeholders and participants will enter the picture. You will still need the architect after you have the plans in hand. For example, an on-site civil engineer may need to talk with your architect about the load a building will produce.

Make sure the architectural services company will be able to coordinate with contractors, engineers, and regulators during the project. Have contact information available for all parties. Touch base with everybody at least once a week by email to get and provide updates. The architect will review the updates and express any concerns they might have so you can adjust accordingly. 

Contact an architect in your area if you need additional information.