Once you’ve picked an architect to help you on your project, you and your architect will work together in 4 different stages of design and implementation. Knowing what these stages are will help you understand the life cycle of your building or remodeling project.
Before you and your architect can start planning for your project, you’ll begin with a meeting or a series of meetings and discussions about the pre-planning aspects of the design. The more your architect understands about your needs, the better. Your architect will use this pre-planning phase to gather information. For example:
- What are your needs? Your architect will walk you step-by-step through your goals and needs, whether it’s a new commercial building or a home remodel. If you’re building onto an existing structure, your architect will need to see the structure and its current design and layout. Your architect will ask you a series of questions so he or she will understand your priorities as the project begins.
- What’s your budget? Your architect will need to know your budget before the planning stages of your project is under way. If you haven’t fully developed a budget yet, you’ll need to do so before you and your architect can move on to the planning phase.
- Have you done a survey or made other preparations? Your project will very likely require a survey in order to be done to code. There may be other preparations that you will have to do in order for your architect to get started. Your architect will walk you through exactly what is needed to ensure that your project is completed properly.
Once your architect has enough information that he or she can get started, your architect will get to work designing your project. The initial designs may take the form of schematics. Later on, your architect will create construction drawings which include drawings as well as specifications.
During this planning phase, you’ll be looking for a builder who can bring your architectural drawings to life. Your architect may help you if asked. It is a good idea to bring your architect in on the builder selection phase because the builder you choose will need to understand the schematics that your architect provides and the architect and builder may need to work together carefully.
During the implementation of the design, you and your architect may work together with the builder to ensure that the vision you have for your project is realized. This is a team effort because original designs are often changed as the project develops. If you involved your architect in the selection of the builder for your project, then it’s more likely that your architect and builder will share similar visions for your project.
Keeping the Project On Track
Keeping your project on track is a continual process until the project is complete. Maintaining the original design is important, as is staying on budget. During this last phase of your project, you and your architect may have regular meetings to ensure that everything is proceeding as expected. You may bring your architect on site while this is taking place. He or she can talk to your builder and help you make decisions as necessary.
When all is said and done, you and your architect may spend tens or hundreds of hours together on a single project. Selection of the proper architect for your project is critical. As you get started on your design project, keep this in mind. Interview many candidates to select someone that you’re sure understands your needs.