Working with a residential architect firm offers the opportunity to design your dream home in a way that gives it authenticity and uniqueness, qualities that are increasingly sought after. One of the last areas of true customization in today’s world is designing a home.
If you would like your home to be more than just a shelter – if you would like to capture who you are and how you live – working with a custom home architect will bring that layer of sophistication to your design project.
What does a residential architect firm actually do?
Design services start with high-level brainstorming called schematic design. You will often see bubble diagrams at this stage to form an arrangement that is harmonious with your daily living patterns. Schematic design services provide the general layout for the home. Once that layout is established, the look and feel of the home can be developed further.
Architecture Design Development
This deeper phase of design is called design development. During this phase, ideas are refined. Topics include room sizes, ceiling heights, window patterns, and circulation patterns. The architect also decides on the best finishes for flooring and cabinetry materials, plumbing and lighting fixtures, and exterior materials such as cladding, doors, and windows.
Once the design is agreed upon, the architect will draw up the construction documents for your home. These are the large, detailed set of drawings that contains all the information required for the builder to construct the home. They will often contain not only architectural drawings, but plans for structural engineering, electrical layout, and landscape design as well. During this phase of the project, the architect will work with you to secure all the permits required to build your home using their construction drawings.
The final stage of a custom home design project is construction administration. During construction, the architect will observe the building through regular site visits and meetings with the builder to ensure that the home is built in accordance with the construction documents. The architect will also work closely with you as the final colors, finishes, and fixtures are chosen.
Together, these steps ensure that your ideas and needs are captured in every design detail of your home. From the creative energy used to develop the designs to the final stages of construction, the architect plays a critical role in creating your perfect home.
Bring Your Dream Home to Life with a Custom Home Architect
Residential design firms can tailor their services to meet your needs. One of the hallmarks of a strong architect is the ability to avoid unforeseen costs and keep the project within the homeowner’s budget and timeframe.
Clear communication is key:
- What is the fee arrangement?
- What is their client’s budget? Timeframe?
- What items will be outside the scope of that fee and billed to the homeowner as additional services?
Experienced architects will discuss all of these items with you before they begin your project. This ensures that you are on the same page before they start their design services.
You have an important role to play, too. As a homeowner, you are critical to this process. If you have the time and inclination, there is much you can do to keep your design on the best path. Thinking about your spaces, finish materials, plumbing, and lighting fixtures before even meeting with the architect you wish to interview will prove to be extremely helpful. Try developing a digital scrapbook of colors, textures, finishes that resonate with you. Even images you find unappealing can provide deep insights into your design direction.
Working with an architect to design a custom home is not for everyone, but it can be an exhilarating, meaningful, and fun experience. A custom home architect can design a home that embodies who you are and how you live to bring your dream home to life.
Are you trying to decide if you need an architect to help with your home design project? Browse our custom home designs for inspiration. We would love to make your dreams a reality. Contact us anytime to discuss ideas for your new home.