The Pro’s of Hiring a Pro
I get asked this question a lot: Do I need an architect?
Architects are licensed professionals. Like doctors and lawyers, they have completed university programs and lengthy internships, and they have passed a series of rigorous exams. Their training covers many areas, ranging from landscape design to structural engineering.
This diversity means that architects can see possibilities and find solutions to your special needs. While a builder or a home designer may make some adaptations at your request, a good architect will anticipate your needs – even if you are not sure how to express them.
What Architects Do
For some projects, architects wear many hats. They may create the design, do the drafting, select the materials and supervise the entire work process. Ideally, your architect will visit your building site and observe the direction of the sun, the placement of trees, and the location of the best views.
These services will add 8% to 12% to the final cost of building your home.
For other projects, the architect’s role may be limited to drafting the blueprints. If you can find stock blueprints similar to your own dream house, you may be able to hire an architect to make alterations. Changing an existing plan is always less expensive than designing a house from scratch.
Before drafting a design, a good architect will spend time talking with you and other members of your family.
What Architects Ask
- Where does your family watch television?
- How important is an informal dining room?
- Do you like to give parties?
- Do you regard the bedroom as a sanctuary where you spend many daytime hours? Or, is the bedroom simply a place to sleep?
- Do you need a private area for your computer? Or, would you prefer the home computing center be located in a central location where children can be supervised?
- What bothers you about the house you’re living in right now? And, what do you love about your current home?
Even if you are working within a tight budget, it does not make good economical sense to cut corners on design. Talented professionals will help you avoid costly mistakes – and can assure that the home you build is ideally suited for the way you live.
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