Often a prospective client will call me and describe what home design problem they need solved. Sometimes they are thinking about building a new home on property they own. Sometimes it is a problem that bugs them everyday with their existing home: the lack of a mudroom, a house that doesn’t allow them to entertain, a dark and too small kitchen, or maybe they just want more curb appeal. Sometimes they can’t find the right house to buy and are curious about renovating their current home. They have been thinking and trying to figure out what to do and want advice. Every single time they want to know if and how an architect could help them.
I have an easy quick answer. Yes! If you have a design problem and want to change your existing home or build a new house, an architect will provide ideas and allow you to make decisions about your home. By carefully listening to your needs and providing design options, an architect can help you figure out what you need to build and tailor it to your budget. Working together the home owner and architect create a design that fits the owners needs. Having an architect to work with on your project allows you to figure out the right solution for your home and confidently move forward to getting it built. The architect will then prepare the drawings and specifications it takes to get it permitted and have contractors you have selected bid and built it.
My favorite clients have a folder filled with magazine pictures they have collected for years. A couple will sometimes have completely different tastes and have searched for a plan online for their future home to no avail. I believe if you are going to the effort of building a new home why not tailor it to the way you live. An architect can help you figure what you like and why, by looking at your pictures and asking questions. There usually is a common thread even if you can’t see it immediately. I had a client with 10 different kitchens pictures she had clipped over the years and although they were very different from modern to Country French, some with painted cabinets, some stained, some even distressed….she wanted light, views and very few wall cabinets!
If it is a straight forward change to your home with either few design options desired or needed verify with your local government if you are required to have a licensed professional create drawings. I recommend you dream big about your home and create a dream plan even if on paper and potentially in phases incase you might have future changes down the road. It is always tough to meet with a new client who just replaced windows or remodeled a kitchen only to realize that they need an addition that could change what they just finished. If they only had an architect from day one! A game plan always helps even if just thinking about a few changes. I am patiently waiting to replace my cracked concrete driveway until after my own kid’s bathrooms are renovated to avoid having a dumpster mar the new driveway!
An architect provides ideas!