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How to work with an architect

How nice would it be to have your house built exactly to order? Designing a custom home can be a tremendously rewarding experience.


  • Spend some time looking at houses - drive around, take pictures, look at home magazines - as well as reviewing any existing designs your architect may provide.
  • Develop some idea of what type of house you want - size, style, number of rooms.
  • Meet with your architect and discuss any pictures or plans of houses you like. If there is an existing house similar to what you want, take the architect to see it.
  • Give the architect a list of requirements (four bedrooms, size of family room, and so forth).
  • Review your building site with the architect, Make certain that the architect is aware of any special restrictions that apply (zoning, deed restrictions, etc.).
  • Review early conceptual sketches prepared by the architect and provide commentary and direction.
  • Remain involved, reviewing the work frequently to ensure that the design meets your expectations.
  • Upon completion, request two sets of plans with the architect's seal and six to 10 working copies.. Remember that this is your house!
  • Ensure that you feel comfortable with any changes recommended by your architect
  • Consider the house plan's suitability for your lifestyle, furniture and family. If you have difficulty visualising room sizes, get some masking tape and mark the outlines on the ground.
  • Do not assume that the architect will be able to design a suitable house unless you have a good idea of what you want. Some people who build custom homes fail to think thoroughly about their true wants and needs, only to find that their new home is not really suitable for their lifestyle.
  • It Budget concerns. One thing that many home builders are ill prepared to talk to an architect about is a budget. This is the one person who should know what you can spend. He/she can then design your home accordingly, and then upgrade or downgrade the material or space.
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