Choosing an Architect to Design Your Custom Home

by c21commonweath_ldowling 24. January 2020 11:27

Most of us have things we’d like to change about our homes. This has driven home renovation to become a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States. If you want to upgrade the kitchen, redesign your bathroom, or convert your garage to a workshop, a quick trip to the nearest big-box home center can get you all the tools, materials, and expertise you need.

But what if you want to do something bigger? What if you want to build a custom home from the ground up? For a project like this, the home center won't be much help. You'll need an architect.

Why You Need an Architect

An architect does much more than just drawing a blueprint. A good one can take your dreams and apply them to a house you can build in the real world. An architect will help you navigate building regulations, use your land wisely, and maximize the function of your house. Sometimes, they may even help you choose finishes and fixtures.

Choosing an architect is a big decision, and you shouldn't make it lightly. Here are five tips to help you pick the right architect for your new home:

1) Do Your Homework 

The first step in picking an architect is determining what style you like. A quick Google search on architectural styles can help you put a name to the aesthetic you prefer. Fortunately, whether you like baroque or Bauhaus, it should be easy to find examples you can visit in person.

2) Everyone Has Their Own Look

Every architect has their own style that they naturally fall into. Asking an architect who specializes in the Cape Cod style to design an industrial space is a recipe for disaster. Before you choose an architect, make sure their vision and yours align.

3) Dream Big, Think Small

There are hundreds of huge design firms and superstar architects all over the world. If you're planning to build a skyscraper, these are the people to see. If you're planning a slightly less ambitious project, a small, local architecture firm is probably your best bet.

3) Get Recommendations

If you ask around, you'll probably find that some of your friends and family have hired architects for their own projects. If you like the look of someone's new home or renovation, ask them who did the work. When you visit the firm, be sure to mention the recommendation—architects love word-of-mouth advertising.

4) Visit in Person

Looking at pictures of architecture is a good start, but if you really want to get the feel for a space, you have to visit in person. Once you've narrowed down your style and have a short list of potential architects, visit as many of their physical projects as you can.

Building a custom home is not for the faint of heart. It is a time-consuming, potentially costly project. However, when it's done right, the end result is well worth the effort.