We were recently involved in a project where a client couldn't decide between an architect Urban Home Builders knew and one we've never heard of. The architect we are familiar with knows what the City of Austin wants, what the process and flow is, and most importantly, just how much information needs to be on a set of plans. The client would only tell us (See, the trust thing is coming out here), that the architect we didn't know was several thousand dollars cheaper. Several thousand dollars is a lot of money, don't get me wrong, but was it $2000 or $9000? Anyway, they went with this other architect.
I gave them a long, long list of things to make sure they had in their contract with the architect they picked. Things like: Exterior elevations, all interior elevations, cabinet drawings, details, door and window schedules, etc. This may all be Greek to you, but its massively important. Well, for whatever reason, they didn't see it through. Their plans ended up costing several thousand dollars more than the architect we were familiar with because for the quoted price they were essentially scratch paper. On top of that, it took 8 months longer to draw their plans than the other architect! 8 months!!!
The clients were not happy at all. It wasn't our fault, but we inherit a client that was on the wrong foot to begin with. Just to be clear, I'm not saying you have to use an architect we know, but it's the little things like this that are so important to your -and our- sanity that we would like to make you aware of just how much we put into your building experience.