Involving an architect in your home renovation or extension project isn’t just a good idea it’s essential. OK, as an architect I would say that, but a well-designed home will dramatically improve the quality of your life.
There is no culture of design in Ireland. It’s not something that we were raised with. In the past it was seen as something of a luxury, an optional nice-to-have. Design is often judged on aesthetics but it’s actually about so much more.
We spend a lot of time in our homes and how they are designed has a profound impact on how we behave and how we feel. So hiring an expert to ensure that the utmost care and attention goes into how our home is reconfigured or extended should be a priority.
Employing an architect is about much more than hiring someone who will provide a great design. A good architect, who is experienced in home design, will save you money and guide you through the process every step of the way. From initial design ideas to recommendations for trades and suppliers, your architect has a wealth of experience you can tap into.
The build process in particular can be really daunting and stressful. Architects understand the process inside out and will be able to prepare and assist you so you don’t become overwhelmed.
They will advise when certain decisions need to be made and will be there to answer questions from the builder as they arise. Once the builder starts on site things move really quickly. You will need to make a lot of decisions in a short period of time and unless you have the answers you could face delays and a lot of extra expense.
Experienced architects will have built relationships with contractors, builders and suppliers – all of whom will be relying on the architect for future work so will be far more likely to deliver a good service than you would get if you were to manage the build yourself.
There’s a misconception that telling an architect how much you have to spend will result in you going over budget. This is absolutely not the case. In order to be able to advise you properly your architect will need to know how much you have to spend or how much you are comfortable spending. This is the only way to guide you on how best to invest your money to ensure you get the very best results for the amount you have to spend.
Architects will be able to advise what will add value and what won’t. They will also be able to tell you where it’s worth spending on structural elements and where you can scale back, such as with finishes etc. to ensure you stay on budget.
Sometimes people feel if they share their ideas that it will influence the architects designs, but this is not the case. The more information you can give the better the outcome will be. You know your home and will have ideas about how you want to change it. It’s important that you communicate these to your architect so they really understand what your vision for your home is and can offer a solution that best suits you.
A good architect will ask you questions about how you currently use your home and what your hope for the new design will be. This kind of analysis will allow them to come up with solutions that solve your problems both now and in the future. Their training enables them to take an impartial view and come up with ideas that you would never have considered yourself.
Architects are also trained to look for untapped potential. They will be able to think practically as well as creatively. It can be hard to see past how you currently use your home but your architects will be able to see areas where you could make better use of space and help you to achieve your vision, ensuring your home not only looks great but functions well too.
Rather than looking at it like an expense, view it as an investment in your home. The more you can improve your property, maximise the available space or even get permission for a larger extension, the more you stand to increase its value. By engaging an architect you will be able to create a home that works for you and your family, get the best value for money and create something that you couldn’t have done better yourself.