Drafting with in your budget
Whether you’re looking for a new place to live or an investment property, you may be tempted to build a home from scratch instead of buying one. If this is a route you’re exploring, you have several options:
• contract the entire project, or parts of it, to relevant professionals - architects, designers, engineers, and a general contractor, or a home-builder who has an inventory of house plans,
• obtain a professional design, then act as a general contractor and manage the construction process yourself, or
• design your home and oversee construction on your own
From time to time, even pros can find construction a treacherous business. For a non-professional, the first option is the safest bet; however, with quality drawings and the support of an experienced design team, anyone can be a successful owner-builder. Unless you’re a veteran home builder, the third choice may be overwhelming - we strongly advocate the use of professional guidance when designing or building your home.
Whether you want to engage a GC or serve as one, your project’s success will depend on quality planning and a seamless design. Some self-builders assume that an architect’s services are a meritless expense, but the fact is that architects are qualified to do several things that laymen are not. Apart from the obvious, such as ensuring code compliance, these professionals take the time to understand your lifestyle and the needs of your family and base the architectural design on these factors. They also know how to channel your expectations of comfort, privacy, energy performance, and aesthetics into the home’s design.
Plan your budget
Before you hire an architect, your first step should be to figure out how much you can afford to invest in the project. At this stage, also ask yourself why you prefer a custom home rather than the less expensive production variant. Asking this question will help you recognize your own needs - be it daylight, space, extravagance, functionality, or any other architectural feature that suits your imagination.
Create a design brief
After you’ve settled on your budget and brainstormed on a list of design ideas, you can assemble a design brief that will convey these requirements to the architect. Be sure to add sketches and/or photos of prominent architectural features to help your architect visualize your intentions. Also, take the time to establish a start date for construction of your project. These documents will continue to evolve throughout the design phase, but the initial submission should be good enough to get you a design fee proposal.
Determine the site conditions
Next, you will need to assess your site’s existing conditions, and it’s wise to hire an engineer to guide you through this stage. The site assessment may entail a physical survey to establish the site boundaries and topographic features, and/or a geological exploration to determine soil conditions. These procedures will help the engineers draft their initial grading design. Based on the site assessment and the design brief you provided earlier, your architect will produce an initial, conceptual design for you to review and approve.
Once you’ve discussed the conceptual drawings with the architect and given your feedback, they can continue working on the architectural drawings. During the process, the architect will develop plans, elevations, sections, and details, and you will have a chance to discuss and scrutinize these as they evolve.
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Last Update : 27 December 2022 7:55 PM
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