Updated: Dec 17, 2020
Do you want to know why hiring an architect is nor as scary as dating a celebrity like Taylor Swift? Then read on.
If you plan to build your dream home, renovate your house, or remodel your business space to serve your customers more effectively you might happen to ask yourself, “Should I hire an architect?” Some owners go online and buy a mass-produced home plan from available stocks ranging from $250-$4,000 or decide to choose an untrained person to plan the remodeling project simply because it is cheaper.
“There are two reasons why you need an architect for building projects: 1- You care about customization and going through your options and 2- You need an expert's eye to make sure everything in the process goes right so you don't end up with a lot of repairs and fixings in the future.”
One reason why people get their construction jobs done by non-professionals is that they might not have enough information about what to choose, why, and how their options can make dramatic differences and ultimately affect the final cohesion of the project. This article intends to provide you with some insights and reviews in order to assist you in the decision making process during the very first stage of your dream home/business construction: Concept Design.
If you are looking to build or remodel your own home or business space, it means you are mindful of personalization and like to consider different options to get the best results. If this was not so, you would merely look through new builds in the market and buy one, why go through the hassle of construction? Your interest and care for customization, singularity, and style is exactly the reason why you have to hire an architect!
There Are Two Reasons Why You Need an Architect
1- You care about customization and want options to choose from
There are many houses in the city with slightly different plans that provide the owners with simple, comfortable, cozy, and private spaces. As the song goes, “they’re all made out of ticky-tacky and they all look just the same”, nearly most of these houses offer similar concepts and layouts, diverging very minimally in style. Take a critical look around the next time you go over to your friend’s and family’s homes and soon you will realize that all spaces in different houses imitate each other. From the airy commodious kitchen with beautiful lighting connected to a spacious living and dining area, to that fancy teal coloured bathroom with Victorian claw foot tub; styles are constantly Xeroxed from one home to another, especially as new subdivisions are being developed. The material used in them may appear different, but the spaces, the plans, and the concepts are nearly the same. The point is that people who live in these very similar houses are not similar at all. Everyone is unique; with a wide range of preferences based on living needs, daily activities and usages, concepts and restrictions, that sometimes these ‘copy-and-paste’ houses just can’t meet those needs. Houses like these are being built based on very similar plans available in the market. Quick and easy builds, the ones that have no room for even a small change, they are, “As Is”. Whoever designed these plans didn’t know the users, their living needs, and their preferences. Unsurprisingly, the copy-and-paste homes are actually produced by non-professional architects selling these spaces to thousands of unknown users at a quantity not quality ideal; quicker building of multiple identical spaces means the price of the unit goes down.
There are many different types of home owners and they all have different approaches toward their living space’s structure. Some people are more open about their options, while others are extremely selective about their one-of-a-kind dream home. As a comparison, it’s like buying ice cream that you have no control of; the toppings are generic chocolate chips and the ice cream is plain vanilla and it all comes neatly packed from a production line, one out of thousands. On the other hand, you could go to your local ice cream store and order yourself a delightful sundae with fruit topping or any ingredients based on your diet preferences. Take it a bit further and imagine: you can tell them that you want fresh fruit instead of artificial flavours, or only one or two table spoons of organic cane sugar to be added to each cup of cream, or choose the specific type of milk it’s made with, and even the type of cover and decoration! In the first case, you get something that is available to the public with no authority over ingredient and production process; limited variety and selection are offered to you and while it may be good, it might not be what you’re craving or work with your diet. In the second case, you get something that is a pure reflection of YOU and your flavour choices! It would be the only ice cream in the world that could meet your diet goals and eating choices. When you look at it, buying a readymade home plan versus hiring an architect is exactly the same. The difference is that your ice cream is gone once you have it, but your home will remain your home for as long as you decide to stay, and that may be a potentially long time! Just pause for a second and reconsider this: how many chances do you get to build your very own home in your lifetime? You could say selective people always ask such questions and that’s why they are always living in top-notch styles. One doesn’t need to be wealthy to live with unique style, you just need to be realistic, follow your inner dialogues, and consider your options because everyone is singular and deserves to be the celebrity of their own life. The difference between an average person and a celebrity is that celebrities have found their own voice and style under supervision of designers and artists from several industries. So ask yourself, why can’t you apply this to your life and get the home of your dreams? The answer is that you can! With the guidance and collaboration of an architect you can make your living or business space exactly how you want or need it.
So, how can an architect make this happen?
Here’s how it goes: an architect meets with you and your family or team members, gets to know you, talks to you about your needs/wishes/dreams/likes/dislikes, spots the problems you’ve never been aware of, and creates the concepts and spaces that you may never knew existed. Not only do they customize, they figure things out and resolve many little problems that emerge along the way. Sometimes after suffering with something for so long you don’t realize its presence until it gets resolved, then you exclaim and ask yourself, “Oh my! Why did I keep with that annoying thing for so long without even noticing it?!” It’s likely every single one of you reading this article have had this conversation with yourself a couple of times throughout your life.
One of the many roles of an architect is to point out living space issues you never noticed. Your architect sorts through all the information you share with them, finding these issues by understanding your family’s or business’s needs. It’s not magic or a random decision, an architect is actually trained to do so through several years of education and real life projects. They then put all the knowledge and skills they learn into practice and deepen those skills through their real world work experiences. Have you ever happened to see an extremely bright and energetic home gym on the very top floor of a home with all walls featuring picture windows that give a magnificent view of the beautiful land- or cityscape? This could be a gym you love to exercise or practice yoga in all day long, with a view to get you motivated to want to keep doing your activities. When you consider the typical dark and gloomy basement home gym, which is found in many homes, you can start to see where an architect can help take your life to the next level by putting an emphasis on the things you love to do and applying that to your home space! That first house is definitely designed by an architect who paid attention to the needs of the owners, while it may not even have occurred to them at first how a top floor gym with a view could be a possibility. Architects have yet another role of bringing options to you that may not have been obvious in the first place!
How does this all happen, let’s investigate: The Gym Room
The example of the gym room above can help you further understand how an architect can elevate and offer you ideas not yet thought of. The architect analyzes the client’s personal activities and determines that they want to exercise 5 days a week, but loose motivation with the disappointment of an artificially lighted, tightly enclosed, and slightly smelly basement. Pondering on this, she or he offers them several exclusive concepts and possibilities about their potential home gym that perfectly fits that specific client’s needs. Considering their preferences and tastes, the client chooses from concept designs provided to them by the architect. Simple as that!
Let’s go more visual! You already have this gym at home. Just like the one your friend and your cousin has. It’s dimly lit, basic and not all that motivating. Time for a change!
Your architect, after carefully reviewing your needs may give you something like this:
Or they may go further and makes some additions to suggest this:
The astounding fact is that the cost of building all of these are very close! The only difference is the idea and the concept. It means you don’t need to bust your budget to get a much more comfortable and stylish home or business place. Indeed, you just have to employ someone, an architect, to think about YOUR comfort with an expert eye and mindfulness toward detail.
Another example could be that you’ve always wanted to illuminate your living room with natural light, but have been limited to something like this:
An architect who listens to your stories and expectations may comes up with an idea like this:
Offering you a well lit, open and bright area that meets your desires and if through you’re ranting and raving of gardening and live plants, your architect may come up with more fancy ideas and offer you something like this:
These are just few examples of what architects are trained and able to imagine, to bring to your space, and to show you how custom made homes and cut-and-paste homes can be completely different. Dream big and always consider your options, as things like a built-in elevator, an indoor exercise pool, a built-in loft apartment for your teen, to basic luxuries like a laundry shooter are possible! When you hire an architect they can bring these features to life in your new customized home or business. Not to mention the cost of construction might be even less because an architect considers that factor too, along with your budget.
So, how come these ideas are not available in the mass produced plans on the market? Plans offered on the market are just generic plans, produced only to fill basic needs and not specifically for YOU to fulfill your needs and preferences.
2- Hiring an architect means hiring an expert eye for making sure you get high quality construction
When you plan your dream home through hiring an architect you actually guarantee higher quality material use and construction process. Have you or someone you know ever purchased a pricy, but beautiful cupboard that just doesn’t fit at the corner of the hall because the corner was not properly aligned? Have you tried to renovate your indoor railings and it seemed that all the new railing rods are awkwardly angled? It happens to many and you’ve got to trust that it’s not the cupboard or the railing rods, it’s the foundational construction errors that are very common in basic homes. Ask someone who recently has moved to a new house trying to buy all new furniture to fit and you will find out.
Working with an architect gives you the privilege of having an expert agent who will observe the project and make sure it’s going in the right direction. Another one of the roles of an architect is to provide general review of the construction of the building to determine whether the fabrication is in conformity with the plans and other documents that form the basis for the issuance of a building permit, in accordance with the performance standards of the architects regulatory body (such as OAA in province of Ontario) in each province. With an architect on hand contractors become more careful and tactile for the sake of their reputation and practice. As the architect overlooks the project the contractor is more likely to accurately follow guidelines. Architects will make sure every single wall, door, window, or infrastructure material are perfectly in place without flaw even if they have to make the contractor redo different parts of the project. This is another important factor that should be taken into account when you’re thinking to build or renovate a new house or business place.
With this comes a warning, when you buy a plan online or from a contractor (not a trained architect!) you not only get a generic home, but almost no space specified to your needs and preferences. What’s worse is that you may also end up living in a house that’s all angled! This is something you may want to consider when you decide to start construction without the support of an architect.
There we go! That wasn’t so scary was it? Obviously not as scary as dating Taylor Swift! So, if you’re looking to build your dream home you now have a few insights on the options available to you. The final question is, if people really don’t think they should hire an architect to build a new house why don’t they simply just buy a readymade? The answer to that is what they’re going to get is exactly what they’re going to build except they wont experience the hassle of construction. They also wont get exactly what they want either! Perhaps they don’t have enough information on the difference or don’t consider or know all the possibilities available to them. Now that you have all this knowledge feel free to share this article written by the experienced people at ASM-Architect with everyone and anyone that may be considering building or renovating their home or business. Sharing is caring!
We want to hear from you! Share your experience with us or ask any questions about building a new home or business by leaving a comment below. We are more than happy to hear from you!