Hiring an Architect to Help Build Your Dream Home
January 25th, 2018
So, you have finally decided to go ahead with getting your dream home built and are now looking to hire an architect. It is important to note that the role of an architect is not as easy as it is made out to be and therefore, it is justified to go with a professional architect who can help with the design, layout, planning and execution of your dream home.
Many of us believe that the role of an architect is majorly centred around aesthetics or on bringing out a good looking home. In fact, aesthetics forms just one part of the overall job profile of an architect; an architect plays multiple roles of designer, engineer, planner and coordinator.
Criteria to hire the right architect
Let’s look at some important criteria before hiring an architect –
Proper verification: Conduct a good research on the architect before you select him or her. There are several ways and means to conduct verification starting from online reviews to confirmation through known networks to in-person visits and discussions. Do put the initial efforts, after all, it’s about achieving your dream home.
Prior-experience: Nothing beats experience, period. Experience matters, and especially in a field such as this. Experienced architects not only bring in requisite skills in planning, design and construction but also bring in coordination, organising and team skills that are required while interacting with the builder and his construction team. Another advantage of an experienced architect is that he will shoulder the entire project from start to finish and bring your dream closer to reality.
Flexible and understanding: A good architect realises that the home to be built has your aspirations and ambitions behind it. He will not mix up his aspirations with yours and will not ‘’push’’ forth his plans onto you, rather, he will pay close attention to your needs and ideas and design your home based on that.
Transparent and professional: While you might have some fascinating ideas about your home, a good architect is someone who will put forth his views on what might work out and what might not. He is straight-forward and transparent and will let you know the essentials and put everything on paper for you to have a comprehensive idea.
Essentials to a successful partnership
Once you have chosen to go ahead with an architect, there are a few essential things to keep in mind in order to have a successful partnership and go a step closer to realising your dream home. Let’s understand what these are –
Basic Idea: It’s good if you have some basic idea on how your dream home should look like. Communicating the basic idea will help your architect know what you are looking for. It will also provide the right direction required for the architect to bring your dream to fruition. The downside to not having a basic idea is that you might end up letting your architect decide on the entire plan and design and might regret later on.
Open communication: Keep the communication channel between yourself, the architect and the builder open. Everyone should be clear on what is expected and on the same page. There should not be any room for assumptions and confusions, things could go wrong beyond repair if the communication channels are closed.
Money matters: The cost of hiring an architect is something you must keep in mind even before you approach one. It should be well within your budget. Be vocal about it when you speak to architect, shying away from money matters will lead to false presumptions. Also, do keep in mind that costlier does not mean better, there are novice architects that have the theory in place and can convince you on a higher fee, be wary and look for experience.
Minimal intervention: While you would generally envision your dream home on the aesthetics front an architect needs to consider aspects beyond aesthetics. Architects need to also focus on floor planning, structural integrity and functionality of the building, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning) systems, and electrical connections to even property and layout concerns. Helping architects by better understanding their role and responsibilities will take you a step closer to realising your dream home.
Freeze on finalisation: Once you have finalised the design plan with the architect and signed off on it, avoid further changes. If in doubt, make sure you re-check and re-confirm everything before construction begins. Avoid any major changes to design once the construction begins as that will put everyone in a fix and lead to unnecessary tension.
To conclude, do keep in mind that trends do matter albeit to a certain extent at least. Ensure that your architect is aware of the latest trends, especially those that drive towards more healthy and sustainable homes. Going ‘’Green’’ is a trend that will help you and your home in the long run and so will the use of ‘’healthy’’ and non-toxic materials for building your home. Rainwater harvesting is another trend that modern homes are embracing. All these essential trends will only help to deliver a better dream home.
So while contemplating on hiring an architect, go with the one who is updated with the latest trends and technology while having the requisite skills and experience, after all, possessing your dream is a lifetime achievement.
As a parting point, architects not only help a lot in designing and construction of your dream home but they also help in remodelling or re-structuring homes. Good architects are essential to help you realize your dream of having a wonderful home for they not only bring in the required skills, they take responsibility and accountability when it comes to completion of your home as per the original plan and design.