What to Expect When you Hire an Architect
BLOG: Perhaps you’re looking to build a new building on a lot of land you recently purchased. Maybe you are looking to put an addition on your home, or even renovate it to bring it into the 21st century. You may be thinking to yourself “do I hire an architect or find a contractor first?” The fact of the matter is, there are layers and layers to every project no matter how big or small it may be. Without the help of an architect, any misstep can potentially put a sudden halt to your dream. There is an exorbitant amount of benefits to hiring an architect and for reasons that you may not even think of.
Some of the most notable steps when going through the motion of a project include establishing a realistic budget, a timeline, zoning and code analysis, design decisions, and frequently consulting with engineers and finding a contractor to make sure your project is successful. When you hire an architect, you are hiring a professional with the skill set to help you through the entire process with your best interests in mind. They want to give you a design that is cost-effective as well as suitable for your ever-changing life.
Establishing a Timeline:
There is always a timeline that is established for the duration of your project. Architects are expert problem solvers in the sense that they piece together vital information regarding your project in order to limit any surprises that you may not have foreseen. Keeping that in mind, this means that after initially sitting down and going over the scope of work for your project, they frequently reach out with updates on design changes and budgetary concerns. Never should a client be baffled at the end result of their project because it looks drastically different from what they were presented with eight months ago.
Zoning and Code Analysis:
In order to determine if your project is suitable for the location you are trying to place it in, they will do a zoning and code analysis. As a for instance, a person cannot expect to purchase a home in a suburban neighborhood and then transform it into a night club. There are restrictions that prohibit certain uses in specific areas. Another issue that may come up is that you may want to add an addition on your place of business, but it may be prohibited based on your property setbacks. They can help you apply for a variance to help further your project, or come up with a more acceptable solution that will not extend the time-frame or budget of your project.
Design Decisions and Budget Adjustment:
Another thing to expect from your architect is that they will do everything possible to work with your budget and expectations. Often times there may be a material or furnishing that you may really want, but isn’t cost effective in the grand scheme of things. Architects have a wide source of manufacturers to recommend to give you the same affect for less, while still maintaining quality. They can help direct your budget to the necessary materials so you don’t deplete your budget on one thing. Additionally, they will often present our idea through sketches, renderings, or 3D models so they can be on the same page on what your expectations are for your project. It is easier to make changes or decisions when you can see your project in 3D during the planning stages.
There should always be an open line of communication with everyone involved in a project. This includes engineers, interior designers, manufacturers, contractors, and the client. In order to prevent mistakes, set-backs, or unhappy clients, lines of communication need to be open. The way a project progresses from the beginning often changes as they take the proper steps to insure your project is possible.
Taking on a project yourself can be very demanding. Overall, your project’s path will inevitably change from the beginning to the end. However, with the help of an architect, they will work to make sure they change for the good, while exceeding your expectations in the process.
About the Author: Marisa Mines is an Architectural Designer at Tokarski Millemann Architects. She is passionate about design through space planning, which is accompanied by her experience with single family residential projects and large scale commercial projects. She does drafting, space planning, material librarian, as well as a 3D visualizer specializing in rendering and 3D modeling.
If you are in the market for an architect, we would love to speak with you concerning your project. Call us today at 732-262-0046 to see if your project and our services are a good fit.