40 Helpful Interview Questions to Ask Your Church Designer

Before hiring a church designer to complete your upcoming remodeling project, finding someone who’s well-qualified, honest, and aligned with your budget and timeline is crucial. 

This helpful list of interview questions can help you find a church designer who has your best interests at heart—so you can ensure your new church building fulfills your ministry vision.

Background Questions

First, it’s important to get to know the architect or design-build firm you’re interviewing before hiring them to build your church. Ask these questions to become acquainted with their history, experience, previous projects, design styles, and more:

  1. How long have you been in business?
  2. How many projects have you completed since you’ve been in business?
  3. Do you specialize in church facilities? If not, what other types of projects do you complete?
  4. Are you a local, regional, or national company? If you’re a national company, do you have a license to build in our state?
  5. Do you have a specific project style, size, or budget?
  6. Have you worked with other churches in our denomination? Do you understand how our church’s denomination may impact the building’s style?
  7. Do you carry insurance? If so, what kind? What are the policy limits? Will you provide proof of insurance if we decide to hire you?
  8. What was your most recent project? When was it completed? If we choose to hire you, may we request addresses and phone numbers from your previous clients?
  9. Can we please see photos, plans, budgets, and other materials from previously completed projects most similar to ours?
  10. Does your company plan to use outside consultants? If so, will we be required to pay any additional fees?
  11. What has been the average difference between your estimated design cost and actual construction cost for previous projects?
  12. Will the person completing our church design be our main point of contact? If not, who will be the person we will be directly communicating with?

Project Questions

Once you’ve determined that the church designer is qualified, you must ensure they’re the right fit for your unique church building project. These questions can help you determine if a designer is compatible with your ministry goals, timeline, and church construction budget:

  1. What do you anticipate the most significant challenges of this project to be? How do you propose to overcome these challenges?
  2. Can you finish the church design within our requested timeline?
  3. From your understanding, what are our church’s most important goals for this project? Do your goals for the project match our ministry goals?
  4. How will you gather the necessary information to complete the church design?
  5. What information will you need from us? When will you need it provided?
  6. What are all the steps in the design process, and how long does each step take? Is every step mandatory, or are some steps optional? If certain steps are optional, what is the price difference for each option?
  7. How soon will we have access to your drawings and plans after hiring you?
  8. If we hire you, are you willing to do a brief presentation of the plan to our congregation?

Money Questions  

Even if a church designer is well-qualified and an excellent match for your project, it won’t work out if they aren’t a great match for your budget. Ask these critical questions about payments, fees, and contracts to make sure you’re on the same page before agreeing to work with a designer:

  1. When are payments expected, and how are they calculated? What do the fees cover?
  2. Do you anticipate additional costs or services in addition to the design fees? If so, what costs do you expect, and how much should we budget for them?
  3. If you use consultants, are their fees included in your quoted price, or will we be required to pay them separately?
  4. Will the project be structured in phases? Will payment be due at the beginning or end of each phase?
  5. Do you offer a contract that allows us to walk away at the end of any completed phase without penalty?
  6. If we decide to terminate our working relationship with you, how can we confirm we own the right to use the drawings and research from previously completed phases?
  7. If you hire subcontractors, like engineers, will we be able to compare bids? What is your mark-up on work from subcontractors?
  8. Will you provide construction cost estimates? What happens if the estimates aren’t in line with the quotes we receive?
  9. Who is responsible for redesign costs based on unforeseeable circumstances?
  10. Will you provide a fixed-price agreement instead of a percentage-based fee for each phase?

Character Considerations

Regardless of the questions you ask, some things can only be determined by your prayerful intuition. Keep the following thoughts in mind during your interview with each designer:

  1. Do they seem to have a deep understanding of ministry?
  2. Do they seem interested in our project and in earning our trust?
  3. Does this architect seem confident in their abilities?
  4. Will they take the time to understand what makes our church unique to create an accurate design?
  5. Do they seem to handle challenges well?
  6. Were their past clients treated with respect?
  7. Do they operate with integrity? Will they put the church in a compromising financial position?
  8. Do they seem to clearly understand our goals for the project?
  9. Do they seem like a clear communicator?
  10. Do they have a transparent pricing structure?

Simplify the Church Design Process with Churches by Daniels

If you’re looking for a straightforward, cost-effective design process with a company that cares about your church’s goals, look no further than Churches by Daniels.

Since 1980, we’ve been helping pastors build the facilities of their dreams with our design-build services. We manage the design, engineering, and construction for your project to keep the architect and building process within your timeline, budget, and vision for your ministry!