What homeowners when working with an architect, Sustainable residential property design, Buildings real estate

What Homeowners Need to Know Before Working With an Architect

8 August 2023

Singapore buildings - What homeowners when working with an architect

Perhaps you’re someone who prefers to build their house rather than scour the real estate market. Or maybe you’re simply looking to build a new addition to your house. Regardless of your plans, you’re going to need to work with an architect. Architects are masters of planning, sketching out floor plans and designing both commercial and residential buildings. If this is your first time working with an architect, you may be confused on how to communicate with them. In this post, we’ll be covering everything homeowners need to know before they start working with an architect.

Do Your Research First

Before you can interact with an architect, you must first do some in-depth research. Some wonder will computers replace architects and while AI has enhanced the field, you will still be interacting with a human, and that’s why research is key. Hiring an architect isn’t an easy process as there are many factors to consider. For starters, you need to find an architect that has a good reputation. Since you’re trusting this individual with the construction of your property, you’re also giving them a huge sum of money in the process. As with any investment, you want to have the security of knowing your money won’t be wasted. Any architect that has a bad reputation, steer clear of them immediately. The best way to check a reputation is to look at the reviews left behind by previous clients.

As you read through the reviews, remember to do it with an open mind. There are going to be a few instances where there are some less than pleasant reviews. It’s completely normal to see a few unhappy customers here and there, but if the negatives outweigh the positives, it’s in your best interest to keep searching. Secondly, see if an architect is willing to showcase their portfolio. This is done to ensure that they can back up their skills and expertise. Keep an eye out for actual completed projects and not just high-quality sketches. Furthermore, every credible architect must hold the proper certification. Here’s a quick list of certifications architects should have:

  • American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB)
  • LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP)
  • Construction Documents Technology (CDT)

There are other certifications to keep an eye out for, but these are what’s most acquired.

Architects Cost Money

Both the property and the architect you go with are going to cost you money. Not only does the property cost hundreds of thousands, but the architect will also charge you a percentage based on the total cost of the project. This percentage is heavily dependent on the person you go to. Some may charge you eight percent while others may charge you a whopping 20 percent. Regardless, a surefire way to cover is to take out a HELOC to pay for college. HELOC, or home equity line of credit, works similarly to a personal loan. More specifically, you can use it for anything you need such as helping your children go to college, pay off a medical bill and, of course, build your own home. How much money you get is determined by how much equity you currently have.

Establish a Good Level of Communication

During your research, you may have come across a few bad reviews and horror stories about how architects didn’t complete their job correctly. We’re going to be honest with you; a reason why many new constructions don’t turn out correctly is due to a lack of proper communication. If you don’t establish a solid communication with the architect, it can make the process far more complicated for both parties. The architect won’t have a clear idea of what you want, and you’ll wind up disappointed with the result. You don’t want this to happen. Instead, take your time explaining what you want and need for your home or renovation. Once they have enough information, the architect can come up with ideas on how to best complete the project in a timely manner while also sticking to your budget.

Listen to Their Advice

While you may have a clear goal in mind, you need to keep in mind that it’s possible not all of it will come to fruition. This is something your architect understands well. If something can’t be done, they’ll give you advice on how to best approach the situation. It’s important to listen to their expertise as it can help them remain on budget.

Of course, communication goes both ways; you’re not obligated to take all their advice. If they suggest something that isn’t to your liking, there’s nothing wrong in saying no. You are spending a small fortune on the project, so it wouldn’t be fair if you didn’t have any say in the matter. Any architect that forces their opinion on you should not be trusted, and you’ll get a good understanding of them when you interview them.

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