FAQ Part Three (1 of 2): How to Navigate the Design Process as a Client

Posted on
March 5, 2019

Building a custom home is an exciting process; you are quite literally making a dream come true. The benefit to custom home building is that you get to design and select nearly every single element that comprises your home. The custom home building process consists of many stages, each of which happens in a well-planned sequence.

We have created this 3-step review process to help you prepare for your first design consultation:

Step 1 – Custom Project Checklist for Clients

The most productive meetings are the ones you’re fully prepared for. Before you meet with your architect, make sure you’ve covered all your bases as far as client preparation goes.

Some of the most likely problems you may be facing, or topics to make sure to address, are listed below:

Do you know how your site is zoned and what you can build in your neighborhood?
Do you understand the functions and form of the building you want to build on your site?
Do you understand the design process you’ll have to follow to get the project you want, on time and on budget?
Do you know if the budget you have estimated will get you the design you want?

Step 2 – DIY Design Brief

Now that you’ve reviewed all the questions that you need to be able to answer as a client, you need to compile some information to communicate your vision to your new design team. Consider what you will need to achieve with this project in order to call it a success. What are the necessary factors to achieve those outcomes? For example, close your eyes and imagine yourself walking through your new home, completed to the last detail. What do you notice? Is there a specific feeling that you get, or certain design elements that stick out?

Finally, ask yourself: what does your home mean to you now, and what do you want it to mean when your project is completed? Make a note of these and incorporate them into your end goal

Below is a step-by-step approach to help you explain your home design goals to your architect and project team.

Try to outline your current living situation. What does your lifestyle look like? How do you spend your time, and how have you allocated the space where you currently live? Consider things like work situation, hobbies, entertainment, family life and travel.
Try to outline your living situation after the project is completed – do you anticipate any changes in your lifestyle?
Ask yourself: who is the home designed for and how will it be used?

Set your budget and ay out your timeframe for project completion.

Step 3 – Pre-Consultation Prep

While preparing for your first meeting with an architect, try to organize your thoughts and problems into categories. We recommend sorting your questions into the following four categories:
Process,
Design,
Timeline/Deliverables, and
Cost/Value.

If you would like to learn more about how to navigate the design process as a client, please download our “How to Hire an Architect” brochure.

Image credit: Kyla Anderson

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