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Everything You Need to Know About Working with an Architecture Firm in Kansas City

by Hoke Ley

hoke ley architecture firm working on plans

You’ve been dreaming about this project for months, maybe even years, and now it’s time to start putting plans together. What an exciting time! Whether you’re expanding your business, or building your dream home, there’s a lot you need to know about the process of working with an architect and an architectural firm before you get started. 

At Hoke Ley Architecture + Design in Kansas City, we truly understand the excitement of starting a project, and even more so, the pure joy of finishing one. But the process of getting from one to the other can be at times daunting, exhilarating, a little messy, kind of complicated, and all around a wild ride. 

That’s why we are committed to following through, listening to your ideas, and being a liaison between you, your project, and everyone involved. So let’s take a close look at everything that goes into working with our architecture firm in Kansas City at Hoke Ley, and what you’ll gain from it. 

What is the role of an architect?

The role of an architect is many things at once; artist, communicator, problem solver. But in more specific terms, an architect assembles a team of competent professionals best suited for your particular project, and acts as a team leader to guide the project to fruition

The architect will take on the role of liaison between those individuals. That means coordinating with engineers, brainstorming with designers, acquiring building permits, and most importantly, updating and communicating with you. 

Architecture is, of course, both an art, and a service. The process of designing and constructing a new space involves a lot of different factors, and the benefit of working with an architect is that we know how to manage those factors in a productive, time-efficient way.

Learn more from Katie Hoke, owner of Hoke Ley Architecture & Interior Design!

Architecture Services at Hoke Ley | Architecture Firm in Kansas City 

Before you begin working with an architect, you need to know what type of project your architect will be working on. Below are services we offer at our architecture firm.


These include the businesses, the homes-away-from-home, the workspaces


These are the dream houses, the vacation getaways, the safe spaces


Spacious townhomes, beautiful apartment complexes; the communities


Next-level barns, four-legged-family homes, and cozy critter abodes

Some other architecture project classifications may include:

  • Industrial
  • Educational
  • Institutional 
  • Religious
  • Recreational

How to choose an architect

Choosing the right architect to coordinate your project is an important decision. Here are a few things you can do while you’re searching for the right architect to collaborate with:

Look at reviews

A classic starting point, you can check out reviews of different architectural firms near you, and see what others have to say about them. Reviews are a great way to gauge the firm’s values, their customer service, and reasons you should choose a firm. 

Discover passionate and competent experts

You want someone on your team who is as enthusiastic about your project as you are. A good architect sees your energy level and matches it with expertise, recommendations, organization, and follow through. The right  architect will create a framework to bring your dreams to reality.  

Browse portfolios 

We believe deeply that the integrity of design matters, and that is reflected in our portfolio. Before you select an architect, it is beneficial to review project galleries to better understand the aesthetic choices of both the firm and their clients. Choosing an architecture firm in Kansas City that showcases tastes aligning with yours will be a key factor in the success of the project!

How to prepare for your consultation

When you begin working with an architect, you’ll want to contact potential firms to set up a consultation. There are some things you should do to get ready for your consultation, as you want to make the most of your time and theirs. 

Organize your ideas

Prepare your ideas and make sure you’re ready to showcase your most up-to-date concepts. Having information like reference photos, mood boards, or concept folders can make your consultation that much more productive and rewarding! 

Be upfront about your budget

You’re going to be working with your architect for a significant duration of time, and it’s best to be honest and upfront from the beginning. This guarantees that they can meet your expectations, and the architect can begin accurately planning right away.

Ask questions!

Don’t be shy! This is a collaborative effort. You’re bringing the dream, and the architectural team is bringing the expertise. Get curious about the process. Ask questions about timelines, budgets, potential roadblocks, and anything else you can think of. It’s better that you know now, and your architect will appreciate that you’re interested and dedicated.

The process of working with our architecture firm in Kansas City

architecturural plans printed on paper

At Hoke Ley we pride ourselves on our efficient method of project management. We’ve broken down our process into 5 phases, with specific goals for each phase. This also gives everyone involved milestones to look forward to. So, let’s get down to the nitty gritty details of each phase, so you can know what to expect. 

Phase 1: Conceptual development

This is the research phase. We’ll gather essential information about your build site, learn about local codes and regulations, and gather any other relevant information we might need before beginning the project. We’ll also sit down with you and outline the project parameters. At the end of this phase, you should have a very clear idea of what your project will entail.

Phase 2: Schematic design

During this phase we start to build virtual prototypes to give you an idea of what the finished product will look like. Our team will schedule meetings with you to get your opinion on the different options we provide, and we’ll make edits and changes where necessary. 

Phase 3: Design development

By the time we hit this phase we will have chosen the best schematic option, and we’ll start thinking through the details. Other players come into the picture here, like mechanical, civil, and structural engineers. This phase will produce detailed floor plans, as well as external material suggestions.

Phase 3.5: Interior design and development

A fun phase, this is when we work together to choose finishes, fixtures, interior materials, and more. The inside of your space comes alive with details like light fixtures, cabinetry, and flooring. Have fun with this one! We know we do. 

Phase 4: Construction documentation

Hoke Ley’s first priority in this phase is to acquire a building permit. We compile drawings, preliminary floor plans, notes, and other relevant information and then submit the documents for permit approval. 

Once we’ve acquired the permit, we collaborate with our design team to create finalized drawings, which become blueprints for what will eventually become your building! These documents will guide the contractor through construction.

Phase 5: Construction

It’s time to build! This is our favorite phase of the project, as we get to watch your dreams come to life. During the construction phase, we are with you every step of the way. We have built strong relationships with local contractors that ensure we can navigate inevitable twists and turns with ease. There will be many site visits during this phase, so take it all in and enjoy the view! 

Price factors of architectural projects

Because the process of architecture is so customized at Hoke Ley, price varies greatly depending on the parameters of your project. There are a lot of factors at play, but here are a few to look out for when you begin working with an architecture firm in Kansas City:


This is a big one. There are tons of reasons why site location could affect the price of your build, including but not limited to:

  • Availability of utility services

So you absolutely adore stargazing, and thus have chosen a site far away from any light pollution. Get out your telescope, because we can make it happen! But if you’d still like functioning lighting on the interior of your home, you’re going to need access to utility services. The availability and location of these utilities can affect the price, as it can be expensive to create the infrastructure for water, electric, sewer, and other services.

  • Site conditions

Is your site on a steep hill? What are the soil conditions and natural vegetation like? Are there pre-existing structures that either need to be demolished or incorporated into the new building? All of these can affect the pricing.

  • Climate considerations

Snow load, fire mitigation, flood mitigation, and other considerations may affect how your project is priced. 

Size and complexity of the building

Of course, the larger the build, the more expensive it’s likely to be. However, one thing many people may not take into account is the complexity of the building. 

Say you love the intricate, swirling design of Victorian homes. Who doesn’t? A 2,500 square foot home with big, beautiful bay windows, decorative woodwork, and towers and turrets on the exterior is going to be far more expensive than a simple 2-story farmhouse of the same size. Talk with your architect to decide how important complex design is to you versus other factors.

complex interior design by an architecture firm in Kansas City

Building materials and finishes

Just like any purchase, we have to balance high cost materials with more budget friendly items. In some instances, it may make sense to use high quality, but more affordable materials in less important spaces in order to splurge a little in high impact areas. But there are times when we can’t look at substitutions; like in the foundational materials of your home, or safety compliance areas. 

The architect and designer will give you input on which way to go when it comes to quality of materials, but just know this is a factor that can greatly affect the pricing of your project.

Looking for an architecture firm in Kansas City? Schedule a meeting with Hoke Ley!

At the end of the day, working with an architect will provide you with the structure, guidance, and expertise to get your project from start to finish, and through all the points in between. Here at Hoke Ley, we consider it a privilege to guide you through the process of creating a functional and beautiful space for clients from all over the Kansas City region. Reach out to us about starting on your project, and get excited! We can’t wait to work with you.