Considering hiring an architect? Here are some helpful tips to consider:
You have decided to start designing your own home, or you would like to make some renovations on your current home. One of the first things you need to decide is what you want done and how can hiring an architect help your dreams become reality. While you may think hiring an architect isn’t necessary, there are several factors to consider: from local building codes and green design issues, to ensuring your dreams are realistic and within your budget. Here are some tips to help you when working with an architect to design your home.
Have your own ideas before meeting with an architect
Taking the time to research and having your own ideas before meeting with an architect will help all parties involved with clear communication. While architects can help you formalize your ideas into reality they need direction from you as to what you envision. In this modern age of the internet, smart phones and tablets, there are a multitude of design applications out there available for homeowners – collecting images, floor plans, materials and even inspiration from nature, fashion, buildings and everyday lifestyle pictures will help your architect when meeting with you.
Interviewing an architect to match your style
The process of working with an architect will be made better if you hire a design professional with a similar design philosophy as yourself. Ensure that the architects your hire have the expertise in the size and scope of the home design project you are interviewing them for. Ask for references as well as a portfolio to see recent and past projects. If possible, visit similar jobs they have designed and completed.
Consider your budget in advance
Home design is not a perfect science. While architects would like to be able to predict how much the design of your home will be just by talking to you once, the reality is every homeowner and their ambitions are different. Before meeting with an architect have a rough estimate of a budget in mind. Vocalize your budget when interviewing architects before you start your home design. This will help your architect explain what design effort will be “in scope” and what other items may need to be put on hold for the future or carried out on a smaller scale.
Trust that your architect has the best design intentions
Architects have to wear many “hats” and perform many roles when helping you design your home. While you may only be concerned with the aesthetics and how your space will look, an architect has to synchronize many disciplines. From the structural integrity of your home to the heating and cooling to electrical and civil engineering – property concerns, architects help pull all these disciplines together. In order to do this, homeowners should have a “give and take” attitude when designing with an architect, and not be rigid in their approach. Work with your architect with an open mind to come to a design approach that will work for everyone. Architects love to hear your ideas, but they also know what will provide a comfortable and safe home for your family at the end of the day.
Ask your architect to explain what you don’t understand
Architecture can be very complicated or it can be extremely simplistic in nature, depending on how it is explained. The same is true for you when working with your architect. While your home is being designed in the beginning stages, don’t be afraid to ask questions and even challenge your architect to another design theory if you feel fit.
Communication is key. Ask about time tables, budgetary expectations, and “unforeseen circumstances” early in the process. You will appreciate an architect who will take your ideas, concerns, and home lifestyle and blend them into a home that is designed and customized especially for you and your family. Working with an architect can be a rewarding experience when following a few of these helpful tips.