William H. Harrison’s DOs and DON’TS: When Meeting with Your Architect

You’ve done it! You have either decided to renovate or build new, you’ve researched and decided on an architect, and set up your first meeting! Congratulations, but now what?!

What can you expect from the meeting? Will your architect expect anything from you? How can you prepare to make the most out of your time with your new architect?

Bill Harrison master architect

Understandably, it can be overwhelming, but according to master architect, William H. (Bill) Harrison of Harrison Design, designing your dream house can be an enjoyable, interactive experience.

In over 25 years of practice, Bill has accumulated some DOs and DON’Ts when enlisting an architect to join you on your design journey.

DOs & DON’Ts


  • DO: Bring your tearsheets, web prints and ideas to the table.

We have had folks bring everything from an incredibly organized binder to a brown paper bag full of their visual aids. Both are useful in getting our brains wrapped around your style and your family’s needs.

  • DO: Consider how you will use the house now and in the future. Do you plan to sell the house in a few years? Or will you retire in the home? Will you raise your family there?

Essentially, how will your home best serve you?

  • DO: Bring your budget to the first meeting. There are many ways to accomplish your goals.

While some people can do everything their hearts desire from the beginning, more often than you may think, we will help our clients determine phases in which to realize their dream. With a realistic budget, we can discuss and plan priorities with you.


  • DON’T: Be afraid to ask any question that comes to mind.

Others have already asked it, and we understand that designing and building your home is not something people do every day.

  • DON’T: Begin designing until you have secured your property. The site is the most important, fundamental piece of the process: It will determine where certain rooms are and which direction the house will face to make it the most energy efficient.

A house must sit properly in its natural environment.

  • DON’T: Expect the process to be perfect. There are many moving parts from the drawing board to moving day. Hiccoughs will happen, and we can help you navigate those waters.

Be prepared to consider solutions, incorporate patience and you will find that designing your home can be a fulfilling and positive experience.

You will form a relationship with your architect, and it is key to the success of the project (your happiness!) that you find an effective way to communicate your ideas, style, and desires for the design.

Personalities and relationships can differ, and this holds true in architecture– so be clear, concise, and direct with what you’re looking for. Furthermore, there is no reason why designing your dream home cannot be an enjoyable, productive, and fruitful experience.

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