18 Feb 6 Smart DIR* Decisions
After infidelity, a home remodel is the greatest single cause for couples breaking up. Okay, I just made that up, but it could be true. At a minimum, just the thought of tearing apart drywall in the family home is sure-fire cause for a head-splitting migraine.
Fortunately, there is a cure: Hire a licensed Architect to avoid the painful symptoms caused by:
1. Building over budget,
2. Construction delays, and
3. Dissatisfaction with the final product.
If you’re attempting to tackle a new construction project or remodel, make the first right decision by hiring a licensed Architect — because this professional can assist in defining your needs according to your lifestyle and dreams.
There’s a reason successful homeowners and developers hire Architect – they will help you avoid these six, and many more, costly mistakes:
1) Build the right-sized home
Building too big wastes resources, time and money. We’ve all seen them — MacMansions. Huge homes foster isolation rather than togetherness. A better use of space might be to create larger outdoor recreation or gardening areas where people can enjoy each other and the earth.
Another factor that often drives Americans to build homes larger than they need is their obsession with “stuff.” But the accumulation of stuff is just a repetitious cycle without a satisfying end. The demand for larger rooms and more storage spaces simply breeds a proclivity to accumulate more items when they would be happier and more content to purge stuff from the home.
2) Remodel when possible
Another smart decision is to remodel what already exists, because the greenest home is one that’s never built. Many “knock-downs” today are still keeping at least 30 percent of the existing walls to avoid the high costs of new building permits and other local fees. A good Architect can assist you in this new-or-remodel decision by providing a visual and economic picture of the merits that a remodel offers.
3) Invest in good windows
Windows say a great deal about a home. The correct use of windows subconsciously focuses attention on a myriad of views from hundreds of angles in the home – from sitting, sleeping, dining and resting positions, to standing and strolling through a residence. Every building site offers assets and liabilities when it comes to openness and obstructions. And as a magician’s slight-of-hand, Architects direct attention where they want the view to look, while disguising what they don’t want you to notice.
Sunlight and shading entering a home, also known as daylighting – is affected by window type and position. Huge energy savings and comfort are important factors in the study of how sunlight enters the home. The change in seasons affects natural heating and cooling. Most Architects can provide a daylighting study with 3D renderings or animation that show how natural light will affect the temperature and mood of a room.
4) Put out the welcome mat
How many times have you driven up to a residence and had to search for the front door? The approach to a home should focus the eyes clearly and intentionally with a welcoming invitation to come in. You only get one chance to make a first impression.
Once inside, the entry should evoke a crystal clear emotion of what the home’s styling is all about. An Architect’s experienced know-how can insure you make the right decisions up front.
Does your home provide a sense of place for every person? How about a cozy nook for Mom to curl up with a book and a hot cup of tea on Sunday mornings? Is there a private place for Dad to escape for a few minutes after a hard day at work? Does your home have an indoor our outdoor space that enables the kids to explore and let their imaginations soar? A well-designed home respects every person’s need for personal space and reconnecting with each other and the environment.
For example, dining rooms should encourage closeness and conversation. Other areas may offer enchanting glimpses into a secret pocket view. Another room may offer filtered morning rays of sunlight from above through a latticed wall. Grand 360 degree views are not required to satisfy a soul’s pursuit of peace.
Every project comes with inherent “problems” that Architects can solve. A wise designer works hand-in-hand with the earth’s amazing assets.
6) Avoid a dated theme
Your home is not Disneyland, so why create a theme park that is out-of-date in less than a decade? The design and construction of your home should withstand a lifetime. Look back at America’s history. What are the timeless homes that have withstood the test of time? Iconic American designs include the Arts & Crafts era that respected subtle lighting and natural materials. Throughout the Western US, Spanish influenced designs are historically relevant. California’s single story ranch-style home, tucked into a stately grove of black oaks, is a proven home design. Even contemporary modern elements from the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s are legitimate styling for years to come.
An Architect will adeptly assess your personality and preferred lifestyle, then lead you to a compatible design that fits you and your site just right.
Architects help homeowners save money because they help with visualizing the home in their mind. One of the greatest mistakes new homeowners make is going over budget on a project. A qualified Architect will create accurate 3D images of the homeowner’s dreams, guide them in making important decisions, and plan every construction detail before the construction process starts.
Many Architects will also offer onsite construction management services, as well. Your Architect shares your goal of seeing a successful final product, because they have no financial incentive in stretching out the building process. A beautifully-completed home and a satisfied client is an Architect’s ultimate goal.
Thinking about building or remodeling? Start with a good Architect.