The Client-Architect Relationship: What Your Architect Wants You to Know – Pt2.
Following on from last week’s “Part 1 – The Client-Architect Relationship: What Your Architect Wants You to Know”, here we run through the second segment to arm you with knowledge that will help your client-architect relationship.
- Know the difference between your needs and wants.
In an ideal world, when building our dream home we would include everything on our list. However unless you have an unlimited budget (one can dream right?) some things will not make the final cut. It is important to decide what you are willing to compromise on and what is a necessity, in order to achieve your budget. It is very beneficial to sort through your list of wants and prioritise them. When we know what is an absolute must versus what is an ‘if possible’, we can work strategically and efficiently to maximise the number of house goals we can achieve within your budget. There is no point us altering the design to meet your budget if we find out later on that we have compromised on aspects that are essential to your satisfaction with the design. The clearer you are on what is most important to you, the smoother the process will be to achieving your dream home.
- Be honest and forthcoming.
If you don’t understand anything, be it a phrase, drawing symbol, or technical term, ask us. If you aren’t sure about something, ask us the reason why it was done that way. If you prefer a different option, let us know. We want you to be happy with your house, as you will live in it for many many years to come, rather than feeling uncomfortable about bringing up a concern with us. We would much rather deal with an issue or change something now than to have you dissatisfied with an aspect of your home after the build.
- Earlier is better than later, or never.
Building on point 3, with feedback, concerns, or changes, it is definitely a case of the earlier we know about it the better. The more information we have upfront when working on your project together the better. If we have spent a lot of time drawing and developing a design, and towards the end you change your mind on things – this means a lot of costly rework has to be done. So rather than sitting on a doubt to only bring it up in a month or two down the track – let us know now, even if it is something minor, and we can deal with it quickly and the project can continue smoothly.
- You Get What You Pay For
Even though some people see an architect as another additional fee when building a home, the value they can add to your project is immeasurable. Architects are trained and experienced in creative problem solving – if you engage a good architect your house design will see a far better outcome, both in terms of space efficiency and space quality. This in turn can result in cost savings on the build – by maximising the efficiency of spaces we can eliminate wasted space which reduces materials and therefore building costs. We know how to design spaces to take advantage of the surrounding weather conditions such as the natural light and breezes to reduce your electricity running costs. We have experience in creatively using less costly materials that still can look stunning – rather than cheap.
When looking to reduce costs, be careful because you may be reducing the value that is brought to your project. Just as the saying goes, if something seems too good to be true, it is. At the end of the day, what you pay an architect equates to how much time they will spend on your project. While a cheap price may initially appeal, expect less time spent on your project, which equates to less opportunity to bring value to your project.
- A drawing is the final expression of a process, not the process itself.
It can be difficult to understand the many hours of work that architects put into your design. What may seem like a straightforward drawing when presented to you, most likely has had hours and hours of iterations being explored before the best option has been chosen. A drawing will not show you the hours of design that went into it. As there is not a ‘one size fits all’ design solution for every building, the process to develop the best design takes creative exploration. A good architect will push their design in many ways to arrive at the best solution for you – rather than settle on one of their first adequate designs. That is why when you pay a draftsperson they will charge you for the hours it takes to simply draw up a building – the drawing aspect, whereas when you engage an architect you are paying for the problem solving of your design first and the drawing is our means of communicating that design.
Hopefully this has given you some insight into what we wish you knew, to improve our collaborative process of designing your dream home. Now, as this relationship works both ways, what do you wish architects knew from you?