So what the heck does an architect do anyway?
Well yes, an architect makes the "blueprints" but in reality an architect does so much more. An architect just drafting blueprints is like a doctor just performing the operation without doing a diagnosis or a lawyer just arguing a case without learning the evidence. Before getting to the blueprints,or more accurately the construction drawings, an architect collaborates with you to design the project.
This means that an architect must be a translator, guide, therapist, counselor,advocate, educator, engineer and more. Clearly, an architect must wear many hats.
And while you can make the trip a self guided one, the right architect can help make the journey from idea to reality an enjoyable excursion, helping you explore options and learn about yourself along the way.
So here's a deeper look at what architects do and how you can get the most from an architect.
By listening carefully and truly understanding what you are saying, an architect translates your thoughts into a home that can be built and that is uniquely yours. But don't take it on faith that your architect is hearing you. Rather, ask your architect to explain the project to you until you're sure you understand what is being proposed.
Because you more often than not are a couple with differing goals, an architect finds common ground to create a home that suits you both. To do this requires listening, mediation and skillfully navigating the space between to find what it is that's shared. Many architects I know consider themselves to be marriage counselors as, hopefully, going through the journey of creating your home results in a stronger relationship between you both.
Every project involves the analysis and resolution of competing issues. There are budget constraints, site opportunities, your goals, governmental restrictions, etc. While it's far easier to just take one issue and design a project to that, a far richer and more enjoyable home results when all are considered. By using skill, art and experience, an architect looks for opportunities to resolve all of these competing forces into a design that achieves your goals.
Using architectural drawings, an architect communicates how what you need and want can be made into a home. These drawings can be floor plans, elevations, sections, 3D views and more. The important point is that these drawings are a way to communicate the design intent, which is to say what the project is proposed to be and how it should be built. These drawings constitute the recipe, if you will, for how to make the home.
While your job is to explain your goals to your architect, your architect's job is to explain how the proposed design achieves these goals. Your architect has many tools to help do this. In addition to preparing drawings, an architect builds models. These models help you understand and visualize what your home will look like and how it will function. So make sure to ask your architect for a model if you're having trouble"getting it." A simple cardboard model can be quickly built at a minimal cost but will be priceless in aiding your understanding of your completed home.
By determining what posts, beams, walls, rafters and more are needed to keep your home standing, an architect designs structure. This structure is also used to give organization and order to the arrangement of rooms and hierarchy of spaces in your home. In fact, a home that has both structure and space aligned will give an ordered and organized quality to your life.
While drawings and models are nice, a built home is the goal. So whether as part of a team or as the contractor, an architect builds.In fact, in a return to the days when the architect was the master builder,many architects lead design-build companies to create a seamless transition between design and construction. The architects who do this find that it's the best approach to ensure that your goals are accomplished.
During construction an architect is your advocate to ensure that the design intent is being adhered to. While there are some builders who don't feel the desire to have an architect around during construction, many builders do. These builders prefer having the architect involved during the construction as it results in a smoother project at lower cost. In fact, a project manager from a large, national remodeling company once told me that the "three legged stool" of owner, architect and builder results in a better project as each helps the other and issues are caught and resolved before a field crisis occurs.
While it's always best to start construction after you've determined what should get built, this isn't always the case. In these instances, an architect conducts an intervention. If you aren't entirely comfortable with what's about to be built and you think "the design needs a little finessing," step back and get help. There really isn't any sense in building something you're not going to really want.
Modern materials and technologies enable you to build a home that's can be heated and cooled at almost no cost. So while living the life you want you can also live sustainable and respectful of the environment. To do this, an architect designs to a standard such as thatof Passive House Institute US, the United States Green Building Council, the Florida Green Building Coalition or other.
From saving money through reduced square footage to incorporating sustainable technologies and materials to making sure it's built right, an architect adds value. Let's face it, moving a wall on paper is a whole lot less costly than moving a wall after it's built. So rather than doing the former,have your architect show you how to save time and money by doing the later.
Lastly, each state requires that an architect is licensed before he or she can practice architecture in that state. While licensing is no guarantee of a persons ultimate competence, it does require that the an architect be held responsible to design to code. This is becoming more and more relevant as we learn more about natural disasters and how to mitigate their effects. /* Style Definitions
Because the home is being created for you, an architect listens to you when you describe what you want and need. This is an architect's most important skill and only those architects who have truly mastered the art of listening can design a home that's unique to you.So when interviewing potential architects, make sure you hire the one who will listen to you.