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Whether you’re adding to your existing house or considering a whole new development, it’s important to effectively communicate your expectations and desires with your architect. The preferences you have for your house plans should be top priority, as they will largely define your experience of your new home. It typically takes about a year from the time you find your architect to the time you move in, but it’s a surprisingly rewarding process. Here, we’ll go through the steps involved in developing house plans with an architect.
Your ideal home plans are likely a subtle combination of those from your childhood home and any other homes with which you have fond memories. When meeting with an architect, it can be very useful to have a number of sketches of your previous homes’ floor plans and details ready, so that you can discuss what strengths and weaknesses are present in them. Don’t worry about correctly drawing a floor plan – boxes and door swings are perfectly suitable.
If you don’t find inspiration in your previous homes’ floor plans, then you can easily collect floor plans from dedicated websites and hardware stores. These become especially helpful if you have a particular style in mind, because certain home styles can be attributed to specific types of floor plans. A ranch style home, for instance, is typically a large single story house, with a kitchen in front and several bedrooms in a row on one side of the house. A tudor style home is often two stories with a large foyer in front. If you find yourself attracted to one style or theme of floor plans, then this can be easily discussed with your architect as a starting point.
After the first few meeting with your architect, he or she will come back to you with a set of schematic drawings. These are the initial designs, material palettes, and floor plan layouts that your architect created after interpreting your preferences. These drawings will also be based on the architect’s analytical visit to the site, with consideration of the slope of the land, weather conditions, and other relevant information.
As your home plans develop, you should be getting gradually more familiar with reading construction and schematic drawings. The better acquainted you are with architecture drawing lingo, the more readily you’ll be able to point out problems and concerns to the architect.
It is wise to keep an organized folder on your computer of all the doors, windows, and general finishes you are attracted to. Even if you can’t locate the make or manufacturer of each element you keep in the folder, this significantly helps the design process work more closely in your favor.
As you and your architect hone in on a design logic, he or she will consider the broader concept of the house, as well as how all of your preferences come together into a home. The designs for the home are made more realistic as space is made to accommodate mechanical and structural elements. However, the majority of the minor details of the home (such as the detailing of the move from walls and ceilings, for example) are focused on in the Construction Document phase, pending your approval of the drawings in the Design Documents phase.
As soon as the construction of the house is in effect, the contractor is the person to contact with questions and concerns, though the architect can also inform you about the process.