what to expect when working with a good architect
Few people actually realize how complicated it is to build or remodel a home, until they find themselves in a maze of design options, local building restrictions, cost decisions and so on. The architect is the one professional with the education, training, experience and creativity to provide guidance and advice through the entire process.
The process of designing a home deals with many challenges and uncertainties. There are literally hundreds of decisions to be made, and many of these decisions will have a major influence on how the final project looks and functions. The primary role of the architect is to provide professional guidance and expertise, thereby avoiding costly mistakes while providing you with exciting, creative design solutions you probably never considered. The result is a unique custom home, created specifically to meet your needs, express your individuality and tastes, and provide enjoyment for everyone it shelters.
A good architect knows how to listen. This is probably the most important attribute a client should look for. Only by asking the right questions and listening to what you have to say, are we able to use our creative experience and skills to transform that information into an architectural expression that responds to your goals and aspirations, i.e. what a "sense of home" means to you. Adding to that, many other issues such as cost constraints, complex construction issues, site efficiency, building codes and other technical matters, a good architect skillfully melds all of these diverse parts into a cohesive, buildable design.
That is what architects are trained to do — solve problems in creative ways. With their broad knowledge of design and construction, architects can show you alternatives and options you might never think of on your own.
Need more room for your growing family? An architect can show you how to enlarge your home so you don't have to move. Have a limited budget? The architect looks for ways to make your project cost effective.
The architect's services are a wise investment for the money, not an added cost to your project. Why?
Because a well-conceived project can be built more efficiently and economically. Architects plan your project with you. As your ideas evolve, changes can be made on paper much less expensively than later on when construction is underway. Thorough drawings also make it easier for the contractor to accurately price and build your project.
Because energy efficient buildings can save you money on fuel bills down the road. An architect can design a building to maximize heating from the sun and let in natural light, thus reducing your heating, cooling, and electric bills over time.
Because the architect can work with your budget and help you select the appropriate materials and workmanship at a fair price. Architects develop the drawings and specifications to help you get bids for construction that are based on your requirements.
Because an architect can help you choose materials and finishes that are durable as well as beautiful, saving on frequent maintenance and replacement costs. Architects work to stay abreast of advances in roofing, brick work, floor tiling, paint finishes, etc. Their familiarity with the full range of materials enables them to suggest the appropriate materials for your project.
Because good design sells. A well-designed house has a higher resale value. A well-designed store draws customers. A well-designed work environment attracts employees and increases productivity.
Let's face it, building is a long process that is often messy and disruptive, particularly if you are living or working in the space under construction. The architect you hire looks out for your interests and tries to find ways to make that process go smoothly.
If your project requires engineering or other design services, the architect can coordinate this team of experts so you don't have to. The architect sorts out complex building codes and zoning laws. The architect can help you find qualified construction contractors based on your requirements. The architect visits the construction site to help verify that the project is being built according to plans and specifications.
"The PFA Design Group is an award winning full service architectural firm specializing in the design of unique, one of a kind, custom homes in and around the Austin area."