The design phase of your timber or log home project is one of the most exciting. The details of your home’s look and layout consume your attention from the moment you start gathering photos and plan ideas until you see the first incarnation of your home’s design.
During this process, it is common to feel anxious about how your design will actually look when built. After all, your entire project is contingent on how good your design is. So, how do you
- know that your architect has truly understood your vision and needs?
- know what the home will look on your site?
- ensure the design is in line with your budget?
- confirm that your dream home is buildable?
Here are some things to ask and look for prior to selecting an architect. Attention to these details will help you gain confidence in your design.
Does My Architect Understand My Vision?
One of the easiest ways to know if your architect understands what you are after is to make sure that they provide detailed design renderings, elevations, and plans. Some architects may provide a detailed sketch or rendering of one elevation (often the front or back), and 2-D line sketches or drawings of the other elevations. Others will provide a rendering or detailed sketch of all four elevations. It is harder to make a final decision to spend thousands of dollars if you have limited information. Therefore, it is important to see renderings or detailed sketches of all four elevations.
How Will the Home Look on My Site?
When designing mountain style homes, it is often the case where lots are on a slope, in the trees, or on a hill. In these cases, it is sometimes difficult to understand exactly what your finished home will look like, even with a detailed rendering. Not all architects use it, but with today’s technology we can use actual pictures of your property in the backdrop of your renderings. When your site is a part of the sketch, it is much easier to envision your finished home.
Can I Build this Design for My Budget?
Too often, a person building a custom home gets caught up in the design process and ends up with a final layout that will cost more to build than their original budget. This is why it is critical to work with an architect who is designing to your budget and advising you of costs along the way. Some architects will give you guesstimates based on experience, while others will go a step further and provide categorized turnkey estimates along with your design. Make sure your architect will provide some kind of cost estimate to actually build your home. The more detailed the estimate, the more likely that it is accurate. Click here to learn more about items that influence the final cost to build your home.
Is My Dream Design Buildable?
The architect’s job is multi-faceted. They must be creative and artistic, and at the same time make sure that their structures meet engineering standards. Log homes and timber homes create an even greater need for knowledge as they utilize specialized construction techniques. So, a working knowledge of log home engineering and the types of systems used to build your home is important. To ensure your dream design is buildable, find an architect that specializes in mountain-style architecture. Then, confirm fully understand the construction techniques of the log or timber home supplier.
Building Confidence in Your Design
It’s your dream home and the best way to keep your dream alive is to ensure that your design is all that it can be. When choosing an architect, do not just look at their artistic skill set. Make sure that they will provide you with the visual representations and cost estimates you need. Finally, confirm that they specialize in the style of architecture you want for your home. By doing these simple things, you will build confidence in your design.