Why do you need an architect?

          So you’re thinking of designing a new home and don’t know where to begin? Maybe you want to add on a room but you’re not sure if you can? Maybe you just need a bigger bedroom, or maybe you just want your kitchen to feel more open? Who do you talk to and how do you begin?

          Well, there are many ways to go about solving those dilemmas but the one way that will bring you the most satisfying outcome is to talk to an architect. Architects are licensed professionals that have an extensive amount of knowledge with space planning, structural layouts, design aesthetics and an overall understanding of how to make a home that is perfect for YOU. Below are a few reasons why you should hire an architect:

  • I will take the time to learn about how you live in your house and make the house function for you and your lifestyle.

          Whether it’s a new 10,000 square foot house or even a small kitchen renovation, I will meet with you to discuss what you need in your home. This includes programing (4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, living, dining, kitchen, for example), budget concerns, style and aesthetic preferences, construction timeframe, and coordinating any potential consultants (structural engineers). There will always be modifications, sometimes multiple, to a design in order to make it perfect. The computer software used makes design revisions a relatively fast and easy endeavor. When completed, no two designs will ever be the same as each is custom made for a client.

  • I will examine your properties location to determine what the best design should be.

          Sure there are thousands of “free” house designs online to choose from, but do they really work on the property you own? Each and every plot of land is different; you might have a fantastic view in one direction, or want to see the sunrise from your bedroom, and maybe even a sunset from your dining room. The only way to find a floor plan that fits your houses location and how you want to live would be to have one designed by an architect.

  • I will research building codes and local ordinances to make sure the building design complies.

          There are hundreds of pages of building codes to follow when designing a new home or renovation, each with specific information that governs how a building should be constructed to guarantee the safety of the inhabitants. In addition to building codes, every township in every state has local ordinances that add more requirements, consisting of setback distances, maximum building heights, number of stories, and total building coverage calculations, to name a few. And suppose you want to build a new house or do a renovation that doesn’t comply with local ordinances. Maybe the house is too close to a setback? You will need a licensed architect to provide signed and sealed drawings to submit to the township for a variance and if necessary, be available to testify in your behalf under guidance of an attorney.

  • I will provide signed and sealed construction drawings that will be given to a builder of your choice, which will provide all of the necessary items to get your project permitted.

          Within a set of construction drawings, you will find a detailed site plan, foundation plan, floor plans, elevations, sectional details, electrical plans, framing plans, and a general construction notes page, along with any additional drawings as required by the township.

  • I can do periodic inspections at the construction site to check on the quality and accurateness of the work being provided.

          These can include foundation inspections, framing inspections, drywall inspections, and a finished walk-thru inspection.

          So why do you need an architect? Ultimately, building a home or undertaking a renovation is a very involved process with many rules, and can sometimes be very stressful. Due to that reason, contractors will refer their clients to the services of an architect. With the right architect, the design process will go smoothly and be completed in a timely manner, with the builder and client involved every step of the way. As a result, a once stressful process can actually become very enjoyable and as a result you’ll have a much more beautiful and functional home built for you in the end.