Sharing your building plans and ideas with your architect is crucial


Architects are available to help you create the home you are dreaming about.  They also have knowledge and information about what you are likely to need in this perfect home.  A house can be beautiful but it also needs to function well.  An architect needs to understand your desires for your home.

What are your expectations, your needs and wants and of course the kind of design you are looking to achieve? It is your job to communicate this to your architect. At the same time, it is important that you remain open to suggestions and ideas that you may not have considered.

You may have scrimped and saved for years in order to able to create your dream home. Perhaps you cut down on entertainment, like playing online pokies or perhaps playing these online games added to your savings. Whichever it is, building your home is a big step and the design should be weighed up carefully.

Three categories of clients: you are likely one of these. 

(1) Those that have all the answers. (2)  Those that don’t have any idea. (3) And those who sit somewhere in the middle of the previous two.

It can be difficult to work with clients who have all the answers and also those who really have no idea of what they want.  Clients with all the answers will come with a ready- made list of fixed ideas, perhaps even pictures and have decided that this is the exact replica of what they want. 

It may be difficult for the client to accept that some of these ideas may not work for them.   These clients may find it difficult to hear that it’s not always possible or wise to copy a design they have seen in a journal.  It can be difficult to persuade these clients that there is a better way forward.

These clients who have all the answers need to share their vision with their architect and let the architect get to know them and understand what they are hoping to achieve and then come up with a plan. They need to be open to changing some of their ideas if they will not work.

Clients who have no idea about what they want and like can also present problems.  They often move from one idea to the next and it can be difficult to focus them.  The architect’s job here is to guide them through the process, figuring out what are the important issues for them in terms of design, space requirements, budget and timeline.  Then the client is better able to make an informed decision.  

The best clients are those that fall between the previous two.  They have ideas about what they want to achieve, but are flexible, happy for the architect to lead the way and figure out how to make the design work best.   It will be helpful if you are open to letting your architect refine your ideas and design. 

Architects are trained to figure out space saving solutions and designs. This is their expertise. Your project will benefit from their input.  It can be useful, and is definitely fun to create idea boards with pictures and design ideas which you can share with your architect so that you are both thinking along the same lines.

Good communication

Good communication with your architect is the most important factor in determining whether your home ends up meeting your needs and desires.  It is up to you to ensure that your architect knows who you are and what’s important to you.   In the early stages the design idea is unlikely to be fixed in stone, and that is generally a good thing.

At the early stages it may need adjustments and changes as the project proceeds. It is better to make changes at this early stage as it will be less costly.  As you feel more comfortable with the way it is progressing, so you can move onto the next design phase.  As the project progresses, so the design level becomes more detailed.

Communication needs to be more than verbal

Architects are generally visual and therefore it pays to communicate with them on a visual level. They will appreciate a photo, picture or sketch in order to understand the style, feeling or ambiance that you are trying achieve. 

Language can be complicated. Two people may interpret the same word in very different ways, so explaining what you like may be a little bit tricky. Whereas, every picture tells a story. This is why idea boards as ways of sharing ideas are so useful and shouldn’t be overlooked.  

How to get across who you are to your architect

Your project will benefit if your architect has a good understanding of who you are. Your personality, your lifestyle and your tastes.  You could invite your architect to visit you at home. This way they will get a clearer idea about who you are and this will more likely be reflected in the design.  

Of course, you should talk to your architect telling them who you are in terms of taste and the things that you value.  Are you concerned about the environment and is energy efficiency something that is important to you? These things need to be expressed early on so they can be part of the design.

Knowing the kind of habits that you have, can impact the design.  For instance, the position of the bedroom may be affected by whether you are an early morning person or whether two sinks in the bathroom is a crucial because you find it difficult to share. 

It may not be necessary to design for a top-of-the-range, fully-equipped kitchen if you never entertain.  These are things that your architect should know about.  These are your personal details.

When your architect visits you at home, they’ll get an idea of the kind of space that you will need. Do you have a lot of possessions? Are you a bookworm and need plenty of shelving space? Or a collector of art and therefore need plenty of wall space. 

Are there children or animals? If there are no children now, are you planning for them?  The more your architect knows about you and your family, the better they will be able to make the design and space work for you and your family members now and for the future.  

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