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Once you have decided to hire an architect to help you with your home remodeling project: Narrow down your choices by asking for referrals from friends, family members, your general contractor and the Rosie on the House Referral Network, which is a list of Rosie’s favorite home-improvement professionals.

Ask for an initial meeting with the architect to see if you like him or her. Determine whether you feel you can you can have a productive business relationship with the person. The architect should not charge you for this meeting.

Choose someone you feel you can share the details of your lifestyle with. If you’re not comfortable telling a candidate about your schedule, your family’s daily habits, how you use the rooms in your house and what you like and don’t like when it comes to taste, style and design, that’s the wrong architect for you.

Get a feel for how responsive the architect is. Is he or she willing to listen to what you want and then suggest ways to accomplish that? Or is the architect set on doing it a specific way, regardless of your opinion?

Reveal your lifestyle information to your architect. The more a design professional knows about how you use the room you’re remodeling, the better the design will be. For example, if you’re remodeling your kitchen, tell the architect how you like to wash the dishes: in the sink with a drain board—but you don’t want the drain board on the countertop? In the dishwasher? That will play into the kind of sinks the architect recommends: one, two or three compartments? Same goes for how you like to cook, where you like to eat and what works for you when it comes to cleaning up. Form follows function when it comes to design.

Speak up about your likes and dislikes. Just because tall, gooseneck faucets are “in” right now doesn’t mean you’d like one in your kitchen. Don’t let an architect or designer impose his or her taste on you. You’re the one who has to live with the room in the end.

Ask the architect about building codes and building permits. A design professional should be able to get the proper permits and make sure your project complies with local ordinances.

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