Today we discuss why you should hire an architect and outline the six steps to home building. An architect provides more than architectural drawings, they help you discover your needs and ensures your vision is built as planned. Below we explain the six steps of building a new home and the architectâ€™s involvement. All licensed architects are highly trained and tested, but finding an experienced architect that understands and respects your goals is key.
The first stage in home building is called programming, or deciding what to build. This may be the most valuable time you spend with your architect. At this time, you discuss requirements for your project such as: how many rooms, what is the function of each room or space and how they will be used; what is your timeframe and budget for the project. This is a time for being very honest with your architect because he or she will determine your needs versus your wants. This is key in landing within your budget.
Moving past the programming phase, rough sketches will begin to help the client gain a feel for the project in a phase known as schematic design.Â An architect will explain the sketches or even build computer models based on the complexity of the design. Don't be discouraged if the first round of sketches does not totally satisfy your needs; early sketches are simply intended to create a dialogue between the client and the architect. They are often times loose or rough, as to not get too attached to a concept.
3. Refining Process:
As concepts are solidified in the schematic design phase, the Design Development phase begins to refine the drawings into more specific and technical drawings. Loose ideas now become crystalized through carefully thought details, specific room sizes, material selections, etc. In most cases, this is the transition from hand sketches to computer drawings.
4. Construction Documents:
Once all conceptual questions are answered and there has been a proper amount of coordination between the owner and architect, detailed construction documents are produced. At this point, the owner can sit back and let the architect produce drawings that systematically tell any home builder how to achieve the desired built environment.
5. Hiring the Right Home Builder:
In most cases, the architect will provide the owner a short list of builders they believe are qualified for the project. From here, the architect will but together the bidding documents to send out to the various contractors you choose to accept. The architect will then organize these bids and put them together in a comprehensive manner so that you are correctly comparing cost, quality and services. It is advantageous to have the architect review the bids to ensure the price reflects the scope of work.
6. Home Construction:
This final stage does not simply fall to the home builder. The architect now enters the Construction Administration phase of the project. This involves coordination between architect and builder which results in regular site visits from the architect. This coordination will ensure that the builder is interpreting the drawings in a manner that directly reflects the needs of the client.
It is important to interview several architects to insure their services will meet your needs. It is important to remember that a licensed architect is highly trained and has had their proficiency tested by a board of professionals. Aside from being your design professional, they are your liaison throughout construction. It is an architectâ€™s job to help you understand exactly what is happening throughout the entire building process. An architect possesses the ability to speak the complex language of a building professional and simply to make it easy to understand for the client. Please see the Srote & Co Architects residential design process page for additional information.