How to discuss your new home or additions with an architect

You have chosen an architect that you feel comfortable with. (See previous blog)
How well you and your architect communicate will affect how closely the design meets your needs and how much of your personality and taste ends up in the final product. Communication is critical in home design projects.
It is important to ask your architect to assist you with:
Your choice of site (land):
He is trained to look out for possible disadvantages of a specific piece of land, and point out the positive features. He will assist you to choose land that ensures the amount of privacy you require, as well as the view you had in mind. Steep sloping sites with good views can cause the building cost to rise, but if you understand this and like the view from the steep site, the architect will advise you how to make the best use of the land.
Information:
The more information you give your architect, the better. The final result will be as good as the information exchanged between you and your architect. Make sure that you and your family are on the same page.
Write lists of your requirements, a “wish list” and collect images of what you like. This helps the architect to understand you and your family. Communicate your “style”. Do you like open spaces or “snug” rooms? Do you like lots of light or “Cosy” rooms?
Your architect should also get to know your values, habits and who you are. Introduce him to your family. Talk about possible future family members, a new baby or grandparents that may be added to your present requirements.
Can you share a basin with a close family member, and if not, tell him early. If you are an avid cook and entertainer, make sure that your architect knows this, and he will make provision for your lifestyle. Think about the storage and other spaces you require. If you love pets make sure there are amenities for them. Make sure you have space and parking spaces for guests
Discuss the “running and maintenance costs” of your house and garden. Ask the architect to advise you on how to save power and water. You may wish to go “off the grid” and produce your own electricity and use very little water. It is easy to buy components and put them together, but it is best to use a reputable company with proven results, and that will install a complete system with a guarantee. Your architect will advise you.
If the above is in place, your house will suit your family’s needs and it will be a building that you feel comfortable and proud to live in.

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