The right architect will have many of the same qualities as the right builder. Just as with the builder you choose, you should approve his resume and portfolio, and feel comfortable with his integrity and reputation in the community. Evaluate how he bills his time on this job. Does he charge by the square foot? Does he charge by the hour, or is it a flat fee? And what does his service include? Are the mechanical drawings, the model, or site survey included, or must they be contracted with someone else? It's important to have a clear picture of the steps involved and who is responsible for each part of the process.
One of the most important qualities of a good architect is that of being a good listener. He is the one who will put your dreams to paper, and you will want to be confident that your desires are heard and realized in his design. In many cases, the builder and architect will have worked together in the past, and it is to your advantage to find out how they viewed their experience with one another. Again, interview his previous clients. Did he remain available throughout the construction and completion phases of the home? Did he work well with others on previous jobs? Remember, you're building a team and each player is an integral part of building your dream home.