If you’ve never worked with an architect, here’s some tips I would pass along to help you with your project.
1. Look for an architect that fits you and your project.
You’ll be interacting a lot with your architect so make sure your personalities click. You’ll want to be similar to your architect in some ways so that you’ll get along, but you’ll also want them to complement you in bringing something to the table that you don’t have that will help the project. Some architects do many different types of projects, some specialize in certain project types, so decide if you need a specialist or a generalist for your needs.
2. It will not be an instant process since everything is customized per your needs.
Though there may be pieces of the project that are standard, each project has it’s own combination of those pieces. Every site is unique and so are you. Projects are designed like buildings are built, starting with a foundation, and ending with the finishing details so follow the process to get to your end goal.
3. Take the right amount of time to mull over all the decisions you will need to make.
Each design phase provides a chance for your feedback to be incorporated. You’ll need to balance giving your self enough time to feel good about your decision but not giving yourself too much time to doubt your decision. Always keep your overall reasons for taking on the project in mind as a guide.
4. Share what is driving your need for your project with your architect.
If you have self-diagnosed a solution to your problem, it is possible that it may not be the best one so let your architect know the root of your issues. Maybe you don’t need an addition, you need to rework your existing spaces instead. Maybe it would be better for you to move or tear down and start over, instead of remodeling or adding on.
5. Give your architect some inspiration.
It’s actually easier to design for someone who gives some idea of what they want. Maybe you’ve seen some things on a trip or on social media that you love. Share that with your architect as a jumping off point.
6. Focus on your current needs, but keep your future needs in mind.
Building is expensive so you’ll want to know what your spending your money on will help your immediate needs. Sometimes future dreams don’t happen because life doesn’t always go in the direction you think it will. However, you don’t want to do something now that would impede something you want later. So mention to your architect if you have a future project so they can figure out how the current design will fit with that.
7. Consider how you can phase your projects.
Sometimes phasing a project can be helpful if you want to pay for your construction project over time or if you want to stay in your house during construction. You can work with your architect to determine what would be the best phase of the project to start with.