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  • Writer's pictureDuff Bangs

What Do I Need Before I Meet with an Architect

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

I am often asked "what is needed before I can meet with you (the architect)?"

The short answer is, not much.

At the first meeting all you really need is an idea of what you want designed and where you are going to build it. If you choose to proceed with modFORM for architectural services, I will help guide you through the rest of the process.

With that said, there are some useful items that if available, will be helpful to review.


This one is fairly simple. Essentially all we are looking for here are the basics such as how many bedrooms and how many bathrooms. And any other spaces that are necessary such as accessory dwelling units, outdoor soaces, etc.

Typically within the first couple of meetings with potential clients, I like to have them fill out a questionnaire to better understand their project.


Typically a client has been dreaming about their dream home for year before they reach out to an Architect. Ineveitably, they are going to have ideas for for floor plans or sketches of home layouts. I like to encourage clients to bring these to meetings however, I also encourage them to be open to evolving these ideas.

These floor plans are great for inspiration and are a great place to start design however, they do not always adhere to the site constraints for the clients particular piece of property. A majority of the time, turns planes do not take into account site factors such as view, sun direction, How do you enter a property, street location, etc.


In addition to sketches, clients are typically going to have various items of inspiration including, magazine clippings, photos or Pinterst board.

These are always useful to share during to first meeting to better understand the aesthetic clinete are looking for.

Pinterest is a great digital scrapbook to collects ideas. To see modFORMS's Pinterest, click here.


A survey of the property is almost always required when designing a home. The survey is necessary to understand critical items such as the proxemity of a home to setbacks and topography.

You can read more about surveys here.


Major utilities such as water, sewer and electric are going to be required to be installed before your home can receive an occupancy permit. In fact, most jurisdictions require your home to have a record such as water and sewer certificates or that the design and installation are in process before obtaining a building permit.

If you are remodeling a home or building on a lot with utilities already installed, this is typically not as bit if a deal however you still need to show utility certification.

If you have this documentation, this is also helpful to share. However, a majority of this info is on public records with the city or county.


It is somewhat rare to have a simple flat lot in the NW. Many parcels of land will come with some critical site features. Again, it is useful to know if this info has been discovered previous to talking with an architect. However, this is something that most architects can help coordinate and guide a client through.

These critical site features can include the following:

Steep slope

Wet lands,

Bordereing a river, lake, stream?,



If there is any sort of documentation for these critical site conditions, that would be very useful to review. It is not necessary to review at the first meeting but it is helpful.

So that about sums it up. Again not every one of these items needs to be in place before meeting with an architect. Do not let this get in your way of reaching out to an Architect . Even if you are not quite ready to design, it can be helpful to discuss with an architect what items may need to be started. A majority of Architects, including modFORM, do not charge for an initial consultation meeting. Unless a large amount of travel is involved.

Thanks for reading, feel free to leave a comment below.

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