1. Why do I need an architect?
In the state of Kansas , all buildings are required to be designed by a registered architect. The only exceptions are a single family residence, duplex or agricultural building. An architect can help you with your building design by bringing experience and specialized knowledge to your project.

2. How do I begin the design process?
As an owner, you bring a great deal to your project; your knowledge, experience, needs, desires and aspirations. You also bring the resources to realize your expectations. It makes sense to begin with an assessment of the activities you expect to house in the project along with your overall design expectations.

3. What is important in selecting an architect?
You will be engaging the services of a professional and will work closely with the architect through the life of the project. It is therefore extremely important to select an architect with which you have “chemistry”; one that will listen to your needs, desires and aspirations.

4. What services are offered by an architect?
Most projects require a set of basic services. They consist of schematic design, design development, preparation of the contract documents including drawings and specifications, assistance in bidding and contractor negotiations and contract administration during the construction process. Some more complex projects may require additional services such as existing facilities survey, feasibility studies, planning and zoning consultation, historic building consultation, special energy analysis or building models and color presentations.

5. How do I negotiate an agreement with an architect?
The formal agreement between the owner and architect is an opportunity to assure that both parties agree on the project requirements and expectations. The written contract will cover the project scope, services, owner and architect's responsibilities, schedule, construction budget and the architect's compensation. Standard forms of agreement have been developed by the American Institute of Architects are widely used and accepted by owners, lawyers, contractors, engineers and architects.

6. What is the cost of architectural services?
Experienced owners realize that adequate compensation for the architect is in their best interest as it assures the type and level of service needed to fulfill their expectations. The amount of compensation will relate to the types and levels of professional services provided. The more services you need and the more complex the project, the more you should budget for architectural services. Smaller projects are often billed on an hourly basis while larger project compensation is a stipulated sum based on the architect's compensation proposal.

7. What are the responsibilities of the owner?
The Owner-Architect agreement provides clear guidance on what is expected of the owner. Your architect will help you to clarify the following responsibilities:Define the design objectives, constraints, criteria, space requirements, relationships, flexibility, expandability, special equipment and site requirements.Budget and available funds for the project.A legal survey of the site, including site information, available services and utilities.Working with the architect to provide timely information, decisions and approvals.Legal, accounting, auditing and insurance counseling services needed to fulfill the owner's responsibilities.

8. How do I get started on my building project?
Begin the process by contacting our office to set up a personal appointment. We will listen to you as you tell us about your business and the way you work or your family and the way you live. The more we learn about you, the better we will be able to meet your building design needs and expectations. Every project is important to us and by being a small firm we are able to give you and your project the personal attention they need.For answers to other questions you may visit the American Institute of Architects Website at


Heckman & Associates, P.A. strives to be a client oriented architectural firm that works closely with the owner to design environments that satisfy the client's physical requirements, are energy efficient, aesthetically appropriate and are sensitive to the project budget.

Contact Information

​P.O. Box 1314
107 1/2 N. Pennsylvania Avenue
Independence, KS 67301
P. (620) 331-6171             F.  (620) 331-6172

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