Visiting a home for the first time to learn about what changes an owner is thinking about is always exciting. Is it a new addition? A renovation or reconfiguration? I enjoy learning about the proposed changes and ask many questions. Sometimes spaces need changed because they are too small or too dark or just don’t work. Maybe the space they need doesn’t exist yet. Or the space is there but doesn’t fit how they live, too formal and unused while the causal space they need and use everyday is too small. Perhaps the home was built without thinking about a great view.
I recently met with a prospective client who wanted to buy and modify a home to take advantage of a stunning lake view and provide more room for family and entertaining. A master bath needed enlarged also. During the course of tour and asking questions, I discovered that they had renovated the home they currently live in. This time they wanted to use an architect. I asked why and they kindly sent me an email explaining it better than I can on why hire an architect.
Although we love our home and our addition, we
really wish we had used an architect to be the project coordinator rather
than a builder/contractor. We had a few issues that probably would not
have appeared had we used an architect. There
was really no one to hold the builder accountable except for us and by the
end of the project we were weary. There were also a few things written
into the bid/contract that were not completed the way he promised.
At the end of the day our goal was to get more space and we did. We
doubled our living space which made a huge difference for our
family….teenagers + additional space = quality of life! But we have
learned some lessons. Projects are difficult. It is super hard to work
full time and coordinate a remodeling project. In the future, we really
want the finished product to look like what we were promised on the front
end. He also used the lowest grade of doors and hardware – this
is not something that we specified in the contract. We just did not know
to ask for those types of things We like nice touches such as good hardware and solid doors and would
maybe compromise in other areas to have these types of things. We also
like the idea of something being customized especially for us and our
lifestyle. Space is still important but the quality of the space is more
important to us at this stage in our lives.