What’s the value of a good architect? Everyone knows that architects design homes and buildings. But, if you’re building a home, should you pay an architect or just buy a house plan that has already been designed? I will answer these and other questions here.
These are the most common questions I get about house plans and architects:
Can I just buy some existing house plans and save money?
Can I design my own home?
Do I really need an architect to design my house?
Can I afford an architect?
There’s more to a set of house plans than the lay-out and the look of the home. When you hire an architect, you’re getting licensing, training, and experience that can help you create something uniquely yours and in line with local building practices.
What Do You Really Want?
The first thing to think about is what you’re after and how you plan to go about it. Are you building a stick built home from scratch? Or, are you going to build a log home or some form of kit or packaged home? Will you be building with alternative building materials like SIP panels or insulated concrete forms?
Also, the size and complexity of the home is critical. A simple, small home is vastly different from a large home full of custom features. You must also know your Home Owners Association rules.
Let’s take the above questions one by one:
Buying Existing House Plans
There is a huge business in selling stock house plans. Some of these are designed by renowned home designers. In some cases, there is certainly nothing wrong or inferior about using one of these plans to build your home.
Building with packaged homes generally utilizes this method. You will not have a truly custom home, but you will likely pay quite a bit less to get your set of plans. Be certain that your Home Owners Association or your local building authorities don’t have requirements that preclude you from going this route.
Designing Your Own Home
Have you created your own design? For some, their home building dream includes actually drawing their own plans. I must caution you here. There is more to designing a home than meets the eye. If you are not experienced or trained, you can invest a lot of time just to find out that you need to have everything redone by a professional.
Good design includes things like; structural integrity, materials selection, code requirements, aesthetic appeal, traffic flow, lighting, views, and natures influence just to name a few.
Is an Architect Prepared House Plan a Must?
The short answer is usually not. The decision could be taken out of your hands, however. In the USA for instance, there are several states that will not approve plans created out of their state. Similarly, Home Owners Associations may require all plans be designed by their list of architects. Always check before you buy home plans online or from a catalog.
How Much Does an Architect Cost?
The cost of using design professionals varies greatly. Their experience, reputation, and geographic location will factor in. Also, you may find different professional levels for these designers. For instance, a residential designer is a lesser designation than an architect and therefore usually less costly.
Knowing first what you really want is key. If you plan to build a high end custom home with a unique look that reflects your lifestyle and provides the ambiance you are looking for, spending tens of thousands of dollars (or more) may be well worth the money. On the other hand, you can get a get a good design for several hundred to a few thousand dollars.
You’ll want to interview your choices. It’s best to get a referral if you can but, however you find your options, be sure to have exploratory meetings to see how they work and if their style and charges fit your needs.
Do you have very specific ideas you want them to incorporate? Are you a blank slate? Sometimes it can be best to give them a minimal framework of what you want and let them create. Other times, especially if you want to keep your costs down, give them as much input as you can at the beginning so they know what you want.
The value of a good architect that understands the marketplace and your desires cannot be overstated. You’re likely to benefit from a higher value home as well as a home that you’ll really be happy with.
You can learn so much more about home building and remodeling online. One great option is to take advantage of a very informative yet simple to follow *free* e-course that you can find by clicking here http://www.DreamHomeCreation.com You will also find other tips and tools, surveys, videos, and additional articles by Mel Inglima.Share on Facebook