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PRO
Custom Home Resources

Great discussion here! Professionals (whether architect, designer, or builder) should truly bring added value from their education and experience. Their challenge is that their business models usually can't handle a lot of overhead time sitting with a client as that client does the introspection necessary to figure out what they really want and need so that the house that gets built truly fits them. That's why pre-design coaching with an experienced, credentialed coach makes so much sense. It can save time, money, and stress in the long run if the client's decision-making criteria have been clarified in advance with the coach.

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dreamdoctor

Ed, what you describe is a part of programming. Playing architect/designer ahead of time hamstrings the designer to find THE best solution - it is disservice to the traditional service to be provided - reminds me of unqualified committees directing architects/designers and they wonder why the projects come out less than ideal if they are ever built - I've seen many projects committeed to death or way over budget at least. I don't have a preferred style - I use the most appropriate style to fit the program - it is like using a saw - the saw helps you realize your design it does not decide what the design should be.

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celestina89

@Ed McSherry: I do understand there are Architects and designers who specialize in one or two styles. However, in my search for an architect/building designer, I found most have the ability to work in most styles, even historic restorations. They might have to do some research but the building of a building is more than a type of design.

As to materials, I found that all the architects/building designers I had interviewed simply asked me about the exterior materials such as brick, wood siding, stone, Hardie siding, vinyl, metal, stucco and so forth as well as roof materials and even types of windows, and how many doors. I was asked basically to describe my visual look of the house.

Once I hired someone, then we started discussing inside looks, ceiling heights, full timber or stick or hybrid timber and so on. Then it gets more detailed.

I enjoy "playing architect"...... in fact, all the ones I interviewed said it's easier to work from a sketch or basic CAD design the person did than totally from scratch because it gives them a better idea of what the person wants. Of course, there are a number of changes due to the engineering and structure of a building. That's where a good architect shines.

Funny thing, you mentioned about magazines and picking out themes. I couldn't really find any. The closest I got to my vision were artists' concepts within various games such as World of Warcraft, EverQuest and GuildWars amoung others. I found an artist on Deviant Art who did many of these drawings of the type of home I am wanting. Unfortunately, we live on two different coasts, but he did several drawings for me to utilize when I found an architect/designer.

Best is to keep fluid and an open mind when working with pros.

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