Monday, September 17, 2018

How to choose a Residential Architect?

Once a client outlines his/her needs, a residential design project launches. The creative activity behind meeting the desires of architectural clients is considered the first phase of residential design. The outcome of this effort is a home design plan, which will contain illustrations and informative details such as the required building materials, fixtures, appliances, hardware, doors, and windows. This initial phase is refined until construction documents can evolve from the approved plan.

Here’s a guide to help you choose the best Residential Architect for your Home:

     1. Technical Competence of The Architect: Every architect is not technically competent than the other. No matter how creative the architect’s sketches are, ultimately we all want a building to serve two criteria first i.e. serviceability and durability. A good residential architect will have the basic understanding of structural engineering, building construction, building services, quality management, local building regulations, and project management. Not every architect has these skills. So, before signing your cheque, look after the works your architect has already accomplished. Go through his profile, ask for referrals; whichever suits you the best.

       2. Know how much involvement the architect will have in your project: If you require the assistance of someone who can navigate the process of applying for construction permits with your town, make sure the architect is aware of your needs. Some architects include project management in their fee structure, others consider it an extra service and charge accordingly.

3. Get an Estimate: It’s important to understand an Architect’s billing process to ensure if you can afford their services. Ask about extra fees if any, for project changes and re-designs of a residential building.

 4. Ask for Referrals: Ask your friends, family, and colleagues if their home has recently gone through a major construction work, such as remodeling or adding a second floor where an architect was probably utilized. Visit the project to inspect the construction design and quality. Check with the property owner to see if the architect was easy to work with. You'll also want to know if the project was completed on time and if the architect stayed within budget.

5.  Decide if you really need a Home Architect: Minor home remodels rarely require the services of a licensed architect and simply need a general contractor to incorporate the desired changes into your home. However, if you want to dramatically alter the appearance of your residence, such as changing the fa├žade or adding another wing, a licensed architect may be the best person to lead the project.

For Architectural Services:

6. Describe how much money you have for your project: Always have extra funding set aside for construction project overruns. Generally, 25 percent more money is enough to cover extra expenses.

Talented architects offer clients the support they need during the construction of a new home. The residential design process may stretch beyond the scope of traditional architecture and into matters related to landscapes, interior design, and pool or water features. The residential design process also includes negotiating and bidding on the home's materials. Clients can leave this phase in the hands of the architect because providing administrative services is normally included in the residential design process.

Here I would like to clear a misconception that generally prevails between the client and architect i.e. of participation.
It is commonly understood that clients don't need to participate in the construction process. However, clients can benefit from reviewing the final kitchen and bathroom layouts to inspect matters such as cabinet organization. A client might wish to increase participation during this stage of home design which is the responsibility of an architect to ensure.
 I hope this article helps you to land up with the best Residential Architect for your Project.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What questions you should ask your Architect?

As mentioned in our last blog, here we will be telling you about the questions or the queries that you must place before your prospective Architect prior assigning your project to him or her.
Only after you’re totally convinced with their response should you think of hiring them. Remember, communicational awareness is necessary so that you can properly convey your thoughts and ideas to the other person, in this case, your Architect.
There are eight basic questions which a client should always ask his Architect before handing him/her the keys of his dream project. These questions remain valid for all the three kinds of Project, be it a Residential, Industrial or a Commercial one.

Let me bring them to you:

       1.  Do you have references?

This one is recommended by most of the Council of Architecture, India, as well as many of the architects I read about. Ask your architect about past clients and contractors they’ve worked with, and then follow up on the references they give. Knowing that you’re working with a dependable firm will spare you potential headaches caused by an unreliable firm.

          2. How can I be helpful in the process?

Having a thorough conversation at the beginning of the process with a vision in place and personal preferences on hand helps the architect hone in on the right solution. It is recommended that you first understand the organizational process already in place, and then ask how you can be most helpful within it.

     3.  What's your fee structure and what can I expect in costs?

Architects use different fee structures to charge for their services, and any reputable firm will be able to lay this out right away. On your end, be open about your budget because cost limitations are extremely critical since quality work can be very expensive.

4.  What are the important issues, considerations, and challenges of my project?

You get the big picture view from your architect as they’ll have insight into construction, city approvals, and design challenges you may not have been aware of. It’s also worth asking if the firm has previously tackled a similar project to yours.

5.  What’s your role with the contractor?

Once construction starts, much of the project will be in the hands of your contractor. Many architecture firms will recommend contractors they have a good track record with, but you’ll want to ask how the firm plans to work with them during your project. What role does the architect plan to take on with the contractor, or will you be expected to deal with the contractor directly?

        6.  Who’s on my team?

Often, there are many different people at an architecture firm that will contribute to your project and you’ll be working with. Ask for introductions.

7.   How can we reduce the environmental impact?

Most architecture firms are happy to work with you to design more environmentally sustainable buildings, and there’s a chance the firm will integrate low or no cost sustainable design strategies into your project. If it’s something you’re interested in, ask your architect about the type of green design they have experience with, and what the pros and cons may be moving ahead with it.

   8.   What will you show along the way to explain the project?

You should ask your architect how he or she will be showing your project to you before the construction process starts. Will there be models, drawings, computer animations? This is a good time to bounce around ideas, express critiques, and make adjustments.

These sets of questions are universal in nature and applicable for different architectural requirements.
In our next blog, we will cover ''How to choose the Best Residential Architect'', based on your specific requirements.