Teaming up with an architect can be the smartest thing to do when designing or renovating your home. But, do you know how to establish a good working relationship with them? When it’s your first time, it’s imperative that you know how to work with an architect. This blog aims to help you in that area.
Building your new home or renovating an existing one is a huge investment. You saved money and prepared for this for a very long time. Exerting all those efforts, you want your project to run towards the right direction. With that, it is imperative to involve the right people in the project.
You need an architect. An architect who can give you the best home design that suits the location, your lifestyle, and budget.
Architects are well-trained design professionals. They’re registered in their respective states. But before that, they need to study for five years in the university. They need to complete at least 3000 hours of supervised architectural practice. They must pass registration exams. Also, they show up to regular professional development courses. Above all, they must carry a professional indemnity insurance. This is to protect their clients when dilemmas arise in the design process.
Superdraft is the best place to get an architect in your area. We will study your project and pair you with the right architect and designer. In a few hours, you’ll meet your designer.
Here are some tips on how to work with them:
1. The project is time-bound, but give the planning some time.
It’s imperative to build a good home, considering the lifespan of a house and the cost of building one. But to get it right, you must plan it right.
It takes a lot of time to plan a structure with a complex design. By ‘complex’, we don’t mean only the odd and unique homes. Every home, when designed to fit its location, possess a complicated design.
Another factor that lengthens the planning stage is the building approval process. Having an architect on board from the beginning will refine your design so it passes the council.
What it’s like to plan your new home with an architect
The process involves design consultations. This is when you discuss your requests with the architect and assess their proposals. Make time for these meetings because these are the key to a well-designed home.
Also, prepare your own ideas before meeting your architect. Your vision of the project will give them direction. It paints a clear picture of what you want and what you don’t want to have.
When you don’t have a vision yet, we recommend collecting inspiration online. It’s so easy now that information is right at our fingertips. Search images, floor plan samples, and materials from Google, Houzz, or Pinterest. Use these things to communicate your style to your architect.
Also, don’t expect your architect to copy the things from someone else’s house. The pictures you showed them are only a source of inspiration. Your architect wants a design that reflects you. They want to give you a lovely sense of ownership at home.
Hiring an architect to help you buy a property
It might sound odd, but this is a wise decision. You can book a design consultation and ask the architect to review a property you’re eyeing. Ask him/her to tell the opportunities of purchasing and renovating the property. Ask him/her to pinpoint the problems you may encounter during the process. With better knowledge on the structure, you avoid spending so much on the renovation.
2. Make the architect understand your budget (finances and timeline)
Have a rough estimate of a budget in mind before meeting your architect. Be clear to him/her about your budget and desired time frame. Update him/her when these changes as well.
Your architect needs to know these requirements of yours. He/she works for your interest and wants to give you the design that you can afford within a certain period of time.
But, it’s a challenge to keep the expenses within the desired budget. There are situations when you need to stretch your budget to achieve a better design. This happens most of the time and recommends that you prepare a contingency budget. This ensures that your project has enough funds despite the occurrence of extra costs.
Because most homeowners have a tight budget nowadays, off-the-plan designs become popular. Most of these project is cheaper than architect-designed houses.
Bespoke work vs. off-the-plan designs
Bespoke designs are high-priced because it takes the best advantage of the site, follows the style you prefer, and meets your personal needs. Most architect-designed homes also follow passive house principles to naturally cool and warm the structure.
This isn’t always the case for off-the-shelf home designs. There’s still a little room for customisation. You are only allowed to change the colour schemes, fixtures, and fittings. There is an option to add special inclusions for the elderly and disabled. You are also allowed to alter floor plans but only to divide a room or merge two rooms into one. The overall home design still isn’t 100% suited to the site. There are high chances of bumping into hidden costs.
When you choose off-the-plan designs, remember that the price you see on a builder’s brochure is not what you’ll pay. There are extra site costs that you should anticipate.
Architect-designed homes for less
Architects can design for homeowners with a tight budget. It is possible with Superdraft. Give us details about your project using this form and we’ll help you design and build your home. You will get a much higher quality. And, you can tailor the structure to exactly what you need.
3. Be friends with your architect
To design a home that’s perfectly tailored to you, the architect needs to know you. The only chance that your architect can do this is during design consultations. During these meetings, architects are expected to listen to you and take note of the important things you’ve said. On the other hand, you must provide detailed and relevant information for the project.
But consultations are short meetings. There is no quick way to get a hold of your design preferences. It takes so much effort to get it right. You can help your architect by simply befriending them. Based on our experience, this strong gesture leads to better communication and a greater outcome.
Another way is to share your vision with him/her in detail. Consider writing a clearly set-out brief that identifies your wants and needs. Outline all the spatial requirements you have for your project. Include everything that you would like to see incorporated into your project. Use pictures to make it more comprehensive. Your partner architect will appreciate it and use it for inspiration.
4. Trust that your architect offers the best design solutions
Though you gave your architect a detailed design brief, you must let them draw a unique plan. They are experts in this field. And you hired them to provide the optimal solution for you based on the information you gave them. Give them the freedom to design your space. Trust that they will deliver.
When architects design your home, they consider a lot of elements. They need to ensure the structural integrity of the design. They also need to make sure that the design enables comfy and natural heating and cooling. They also dip their fingers in electrical works and other property concerns that affect the home design. Their concern isn’t the aesthetics alone. It’s the entire structure and how it will function for you. Trust us, this is a lot more complicated than you think it is.
So, work with your architect with an open mind and approach. You are free to tell your ideas to your architect, but you should consider the advice of your architect too. At the end of the day, all he/she wants to do is provide a comfortable and safe home for your family.
5. Don’t hesitate to ask questions
The next step after design consultations is about finalising the design. It’s when you evaluate your architect’s work until you’re happy with the design. Depending on how the architect explains, their design can be complicated or easy to understand.
As our final tip, ask your architect to explain the things that you don’t understand in the design. He/she will always be glad to explain it to you.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask futuristic questions. Think of building from paper to the ground up. Speak up if there’s anything that bothers you.
This is about good communication. You and your architect must be on the same page. As the homeowner, you need to understand everything in your design before you give it a go. You must recognise that this design will address your needs.
Working with an architect can be a rewarding experience that gives you a home that will be a joy to live in for years. It’s a shot to great design — a house that is energy-efficient, beautiful, personal. It’s money well spent.