What emotion do you feel first when thinking about your project? For most anxiety and uncertainty top the list. In many cases these emotions and horror stories from friends are enough to stop a potential project right after the dreaming starts. So, how did we get here? What has happened in the residential construction industry allowing uncertainty and anxiety to rule the process with outcomes that are marginal at best? I would argue that a big piece of the process is missing; working with an experienced architect to appropriately design and plan.
I can’t tell you how many times I have heard from a home owner, with a look of dismay on their face, “Well, we were hoping for it to turn out like this (pointing to their project) but it turned out like this …the builder said we could only do this… I guess it’s OK”.
At which time I say, “You just paid XXX dollars not to get what you want?”
It blows my mind, but this happens all the time. Home owners are left feeling deflated and angry with a completed project they don’t love.
So, again how did we get here? The answer is fairly simple. We have been conditioned by the industry to believe the builders can do it all. While builders can be very accomplished, knowledgeable, and excellent at their craft most have little or no formal planning or design education. So, the planning and design doesn’t develop to the home owner’s expectations which makes the construction process difficult and budgets hard to manage. This leaves home owners unhappy, spent, and with a completed project that isn’t what they wanted in the first place.
I believe there is a better way. Find a licensed architect you like and trust. Architects spend 7 years in college, followed by 4 years of internship honing their design and planning skills. This is followed by 9 licensing exams to ensure they are not only good at design and planning but also technically proficient. The job of your architect is to guide you through the planning process; working with you to develop a design that you love, a comprehensive set of construction drawings, timeline, and budget to ensure your project is successful. Your architect is not only your partner during the planning process, but also an important advocate during construction, ensuring lines of communication are kept open, expectations met, and the project completed as designed.
You might think the job of the architect starts and stops with the above list. But, often he or she will act as counselor, consoler, coach, mentor, advisor, and often … trusted confidant. Emotions run high during construction projects. You can count on your architect to be with you through the lows and highs of it all. There are always bumps in the road, but with the support of your architect, good planning and design, and a quality builder you can end up with a project you love.
Written by, Ashli Slawter. A. Slawter Architecture is part of the #FTMFamily. You can reach her at 859-630-5289 | firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check her out at www.aslawterarchitecture.com | on Facebook and Houzz.com