Last week I sat down with potential clients to discuss their dream renovation. They talked through big ideas to blow out the back of their house in the hopes of adding much needed living space. With a mixture of excitement and fear in their eyes, they asked about planning and budgeting.
On a large scale project, these initial chats inevitably lead to discussing two key professionals and the services they offer: architects and designers.
Frankly, it’s a great discussion to have on large scale and some smaller scale renovations because investing up front can save money down the road. Hiring the right team can turn your dreams into reality.
Architect or Architectural Technician
Working with an architect enables proper planning of the entire project and will help develop a clear budget and schedule.
By creating comprehensive blueprints, architects can also help with project communication, one of the biggest issues we encounter in any project. Once plans are in place and you’re committed to them, everyone is working off the same script: the homeowners, designer, contractors and the City who will issue permits that are needed.
The blueprints and 3D scale drawings will help clients understand what the space will look like and allows for fine tuning before it’s too late. Changes in the building phase are expected and can always be managed, but it’s always better to catch things before the start of construction.
While an architect and the plans they create are nice to have with some projects, they become essential when a development permit or a building permit is required or when structural changes are being made. A qualified contractor can help you develop plans and drawings for smaller projects.
When you’re spending your hard-earned money on a renovation or home build a designer can help ensure that when the final product is finished it’ll be just what you wanted.
Home design is not just about tile and paint colors. It is so much more.
A designer can visualize the bigger picture and bring all of the design elements together – from using natural light to maximizing the use of space to furniture placement.
Too often clients look at each design element as separate entities without understanding how they speak to each other. Flooring, countertops, cabinetry, backsplash materials, fixtures, paint, hardware and finishes might look great individually but disconnected when put together.
A designer will coach you through these decisions and bring forward unique and novel design ideas that add the ‘wow’ factor.
Most importantly, the best designers understand that this is your home, the place where you spend time with family and friends. They can help make sure your renovation or new home reflects your personality.
A knowledgeable and experienced contractor can serve as the glue on your team and ensure what’s on paper gets built with the precision and quality your project deserves. In fact, a skilled contractor will spend several days pouring over blueprints and design documents, discussing them with your team, before a tool is picked up. Given their understanding of building materials and techniques their suggestions for improvements should be taken into consideration. Your contractor will ensure what’s on paper can be practically constructed within your budget.
In summary, the right team of architect, designer and contractor will lead to the successful execution of your vision. So unless you’re planning a small renovation or simple facelift, I’d recommend having all three on your roster.
Together we’ll coach you through the multitude of decisions involved in the process, helping preserve your sanity and your vision for the home of your dreams.