The dream home in your head is perfect; however, you really want to live in it. In order to do that, you need to get it down on paper. So how will that image in your head become a three-dimensional, honest-to-goodness home? Unless you are building a kit log home or using a stock timber home plan, an architectural designer will need to help you. Here are some things to consider when searching for the architectural designer to make your dream home come alive:

Dovetail Log CornerIs the architectural designer familiar with the products used to construct your home?

Mountain-style log and timber homes require specialized materials and methods that will impact construction. This includes the the overall building plans as well as schematics for wiring and plumbing. Look for an architectural designer experienced with the niche building type you are using.

Will the architectural designer provide engineered construction drawings?

Heavy snow loads, seismic activity, and other site related conditions dictate what type of engineering your homes needs. Because of this, it is important to understand if your architectural designer provides engineered construction drawings, or if this is something you will need to have done separately.

Is the architectural designer familiar with environmentally-friendly design?

Ask whether the architectural designer has designed “green” buildings before, and about what materials or techniques he or she used to make the design more eco-friendly.

Is the architectural designer able to design to a budget? 

Building to your budget is key and that starts with the home’s design. If the architectural designer designs a home that you cannot afford, you may need to spend extra money and time revising the plan. Be honest about your budget and work with an architectural designer that has the ability to design a home to your specific budget.

What will your architectural designer provide?

It is important to ask what is provided in your design fee to limit surprises later. Will you get conceptual drawings or full construction drawings? Do you get a color rendering or just a floor plan and elevations? Does the design fee include revisions?

Timber Frame Home RenderingDo they have rendering capabilities?

In addition to design drawings, you will want images of your home rendered in a detailed sketch, computer-enhanced drawing, or even a 3-D model. The architectural designer may do this or hire a service to produce the renderings. If this service is not available, it is more difficult to envision what your home will look.

Has the architectural designer worked with a variety of site conditions?

Each building region has its own unique attributes. Therefore, you need to select an architectural designer that has worked in various regions. This enhances their ability to tackle vastly different terrain or weather conditions (such as snow loads). Be certain your architectural designer has experience designing for your site conditions.

What services are available?

Does the architectural designer have options for interior design, landscaping, or outdoor structures? If these are important to you, know up front if they are available.

Would you want to live in one of the architectural designer’s previous projects?

When you review the architectural designer’s photo gallery, or look around the office lobby, are you inspired by the drawings and photographs? Can you envision yourself living, entertaining, and relaxing there? Your emotional reaction to the architectural designer’s work is important, so be sure to give it its due.

Technology to CommunicateHow will you communicate with your architectural designer?

With today’s technology, it is easier than ever to communicate. Because it is quite common for your architectural designer to live somewhere other than your build site, communication is paramount to the success of your home’s construction. Make sure to find out what method the architectural designer uses to interact with clients and decide if that works for you.

Is the architectural designer involved with the whole building process?

Your architectural designer should participate in the whole building process to ensure your home is built according to the plans. Not communicating with the construction crew will affect the integrity of your home’s design.

Working with PrecisionCraft and M.T.N Design

PrecisionCraft Log & Timber Homes works with its in-house architectural design firm, M.T.N Design, to design the majority of the homes it builds. M.T.N Design specializes in log and timber homes built throughout North America and internationally. M.T.N’s architectural designers know how to create beautiful home designs that work with a variety of site conditions. In addition, by incorporating structural insulating panels (SIPs) and insulating concrete forms (ICFs) for the foundation, you can be assured that your home maximizes energy efficiency.

M.T.N Design provides clients with color renderings as well as full engineered construction drawings stamped by engineers local to the build site to ensure local regulations are met. A PrecisionCraft project manager is brought into the process when M.T.N Design starts your design. For project consistency, this dedicated project manager works on your project throughout your contract with M.T.N Design and PrecisionCraft. Communication occurs as often as you would like and through whatever channels you prefer throughout your project.

Choosing an architectural designer for your custom wood home design should be an enlightening process which . This process should result in a professional who instills confidence.

You Might Also Like: