Residential Architects Should be Designing

photography by Lisa Russman

If you’ve considered a home addition or building the home of your dreams then you’ve definitely thought about hiring residential architects to help. But who do you choose? What matters when it comes to designing or redesigning a home? We’ve got the answers you need before you make up your mind. 

The Cost of Your Satisfaction

We recommend considering factors other than just budget when you select your perfect team of residential architects for your project. Everyone wants to save money, right? But what’s the cost of choosing a team that doesn’t communicate the same way you do? Imagine the undue stress of working with a team that doesn’t reply to your email and now you’re left worried about a surprise issue that was just uncovered. We advise you to ask about communication, timelines, and set expectations before you even sign a contract. Dollar signs matter as much as your mental and emotional well-being matter. That’s what we believe! In fact, we stick to email communication because one, we know you’re busy and can’t always get on a call. Two, so much of your design process is visual and requires clear imagery that you can take your time in reviewing. Communication is key. 

The Details that Matter

When you’re interviewing residential architects find out what they’re known for. Peruse reviews, ask for real references, and check out photos of their work. If you love a light and bright home make sure the portfolio they provide matches that kind of detail. As a busy professional with a growing family, shouldn’t you have a team that understands the flow of how your family moves? We think so! It’s not enough just to talk about high ceilings and those dreamy hardwood oak floors but who will walk on them? And at what time of night might you hear the creak of a “midnight snack”? Having a team who asks thoughtful questions you never even considered in your new build will ensure you’re designing a new beginning but with those familiar scents and sounds. 

Beyond the talk of marble and chrome fixtures, homes should be designed to be lived in. Let’s build a mudroom that doesn’t get rid of the chaos of those muddy shoes but that makes it easy for the kiddos to organize their belongings and wipe up the tiles easily. Relishing in those treasured moments looks like stepping outside into an August’s heatwave knowing you have a beautiful shaded deck carefully designed for you to watch the kids play for hours. 

Understanding the Scope

As you hire your architecture partner, there are certain questions you can ask that will clarify the scope of work you want and the kinds of skills required to get the job done. Will you need custom millwork AKA are you going with custom kitchen cabinets and shelving or sticking to a builder-grade option? Is the majority of your project facade work or will you need a team with an eye for interior design? If you’re building a new home, will you need recommendations and experience with finishes like faucets and door handles? Ask questions like these to get a feel for what the scope of your project actually entails and who is experienced and capable to get that kind of job done. We know it’s hard to think of everything so with this list of questions, it will help you be thorough and think through your project from start to finish. 

Whether you’re demoing a home and rebuilding or you just purchased land, even if you’re doing a home addition, it’s so important to have the right residential architects on your side. Thinking through how your family enjoys spending time and the physical manifestations of how to make that happen is the journey you’re going on. Work with people who care about you and are a match for how you like to work.