Finding out more about your consultants

Hiring an architect is a big commitment. How do you decide who to work with? The one major deciding factor is trust – can you trust them to do a good job? The beginning of trust is getting to know your architect. In addition to these 5, here are 5 more questions to help break the ice:

Differences between congregations affect building design

Q: Is the architect familiar with the nuances of your denomination and worship style and what this may mean in building design?

A: Our entire team has worked with many, many denominations over the years and we have indeed learned that not all congregations are the same. Subtle differences in church groups will absolutely have an impact on the final building design, in everything from worship style to food services, child care to social activities. Yet, we don’t like to stereotype our clients, so we’ll ask a lot of questions along the way to make sure we hear you loud and clear.

What about design style?

Q: Does the architect have a specific design style and how well does their design style match what you are looking to build? 

A: We believe “style” happens best in retrospect. That is, going into a project we don’t have any preconceived ideas about how we think your building should look. The design of your new facility will emerge from your church’s long term vision of ministry. For instance, if your church has a strong community outreach component, your building may begin to look like more of a community centre. If your church values it’s deep roots in tradition, your new building may take it’s design cues from the rich history of church architecture throughout the ages.

Involving other consultants

Q: Does the architect intend to use consultants for this project and if so, how are they paid?

A: By consultants, we mean people with specialized knowledge that we don’t have in-house. At the very least you’ll need 3 types of engineers: structural, mechanical and electrical. We will hire them on your behalf and pay them out of the total project fee, usually monthly as a percentage of work completed. These team members are people we have worked with in the past and have a good working relationship with.

Insurance coverage

Q: Does the architect carry insurance?

A: Yes, we do carry Professional Liability Insurance, sometimes called Errors and Omissions Insurance, in case something should go wrong on a project. In spite of this, we work diligently and professionally so we don’t have to use it. And we’re glad to report in all our years of practice we have never made a claim.

Certificate of insurance available

Q: Will the architect provide proof of insurance should the church decide to hire the firm?

A: Certainly, just ask us. We have a one page certificate from our insurer stating the policy limits on both individual and aggregate claims and will verify the policy is currently in effect.

Contact us

We trust our answers will help you to know us a little better. For answers to any other questions you might have contact David or Kelly at www.parkerseminoff.com or leave a comment below.

(These questions from Stephen Anderson’s book “Before You Build”.)

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