Finding a suitable patch of land for your project can be one of the most significant self-build challenges. You can use numerous resources to track the right site down, from local estate agents to specialist online sources.
If your search for a building site is proving difficult, then look out for demolishing and rebuild opportunities, too. Your local council may look favourably upon a scheme that knocks down a rundown, dilapidated building to make way for a unique, energy-efficient new build.
When seeking out ideas for your project, there’s an array of sources you can turn to for aspirational design ideas. A good starting point might be to put together mood boards – either printed or digital – showing properties that you love (and hate!).
Try to set aside some time to think about the design aspects you like and dislike in your current home. It could provide a good springboard when it comes to researching your ideas in more depth. There are numerous inspirational magazines and websites filled with advice and eye-catching projects to inspire readers.
Mapping out the design for your new dwelling can be one of the most exciting parts of the project – but try not to get too carried away at this stage, especially in terms of budget. “A lot of the tasks you’ll find online are striking, and there’s a lot of detailing and coordination involved to achieve an effortless-looking finish.
7 Tips to Help You Design the Perfect Floor Plan
The perfect floor plan is not an easy task to accomplish – families are dynamics, and how we interact with our space changes a little year by year. Though the dimensions of a floor plan may be set in stone, how we play within this outline is variable. Read more for tips on how to optimize and design a floor plan that fits your needs!
Highlight Your Assets
A floor plan should highlight all assets that come with the land on which your home sits. Whether you have a great view at the front or back or the perfect amount of sun – your floorplan should accentuate it. If your home is custom, it is likely built on the East-West Axis, and it is important to note that most of your sun will be coming in from the South. Plan your living spaces accordingly, and make sure to give those room that requires the most amount of light the attention they deserve.
Though the innovative design style of modern homes is admirable, it is worth noting that a traditional and straightforward floor plan may be just what’s right for you. Not everyone wants a highly open house and would prefer to separate how people socialize to maintain a sense of order in the home. Details such as having a mudroom or closet near the front entrance for convenience may seem conventional – but when guests come into your home with somewhere easy to put their shoes, you’ll be glad it wasn’t something you missed.
Stay on Budget
A common misconception people have is that they need to renovate everything as quickly as possible to prevent a future construction-induced headache. However, there is no need to give up on that family vacation to receive instant satisfaction in the space you live in. Renovating your home little by little will create small changes that will build with your home. Prioritizing your needs can also be helpful for planning and prioritizing what you value the most as a family.
Renovating? Open it Up.
Old homes are notorious for segregating rooms based on their intended purpose. Modern homes aim to have an open concept that shies away from the historical notion of formal dining and lean towards owning a functional space that accommodates all the busy lives involved in a family. By knocking down walls that are creating barriers in the home, you will allow more light to infiltrate places that used to corner and build a space perfect for socializing and entertaining.
With smaller members of the family come larger risks of injury. When designing a floorplan, and choosing its features, keep in mind how someone younger may interact with space. Setting up an area that will allow adults to keep an eye on them may be valuable and omitting balconies inside or outside of the home.
If you’re not fully sold on the idea of an open floor plan, have no fear, there is another option! Creating a visual connectedness between various rooms meant for socializing will still give it that uniform feel. By painting walls with similar colours and playing within a defined colour theme, your home is sure to have a cohesive feel without being overly open.
Bringing the Outdoors Indoors
If possible, one should try to complement what surrounds their home and bring it inside. This creates a seamless transition for homeowners from their exterior environment to their personal space. Using similar colours and materials on the outside and inside of your home will allow homeowners and visitors to appreciate the elevated sense of connection that a home can provide. Remember to add accents that prevent it from being too dull space.
10 Qualities of Good Design
The problem with sustainable design is that it’s easier to talk about than to do properly. Unfortunately, greenwashing and marketing spin are often substitutes for real change.
Architects can’t hide anymore. The word is out. The buildings we design and the energy they require generate more carbon dioxide than cars. Yes, the automakers that we all complain about have less impact than architects and their clients. It’s time to do the right thing.
What is a good design if it’s only available to some? Here in the U.S., detailed codes dictate that our built environment be accessible to those with disabilities. Often times it is important to look beyond these minimum standards.
This should be the simplest attribute of good design, but it is often the hardest to achieve. Apple makes products that look great, but at their core, they are successful by creating easy to use hardware and software that surpasses the competition.
Architects don’t make anything. Our say in how well a building is built is limited to a set of instructions we provide. The end people that actually build it have little to no actual interaction with the architect. This means our instructions better be good, and just as important, easy to understand.
People rarely forget the feeling of walking into the Pantheon in Rome. Now compare that to the bland sameness found in the bulk of our suburban developments.
Not every building can be the Pantheon, but every design should be an attempt to stir the senses.
Buildings need both structural and aesthetic longevity. It’s important to innovate, but you don’t want a design that looks outdated before that last coat of paint dries.
The time frame for enduring is uncertain. No question the Pantheon (126 A.D.) is enduring. Is Gehry’s Guggenheim (1997) in Bilbao?
Whether you like it or not, all architecture is public architecture. Architects have a responsibility to look both within and beyond the walls of our buildings to see what we can do to help.
Beauty is subjective, right?
Buildings must relate to the scale of the people that inhabit them. Often this idea is lost in the array of 3D computer modelling technologies that architects use these days. Stop and take a step back. Put a person in that model even if they’re digital.
This is one of the hardest for architects. The reason is simple. Architects typically get clients by waiting for the phone to ring. Someone with money, land and an idea that wants our services. This client type represents a small portion of society yet makes up almost all of an architect’s clientèle.
Creating affordable architecture is more difficult. It involves entrepreneurship on the part of the architect—an upfront investment in inventing an affordable solution that the masses can afford.
10 Benefits of Hiring an Architect
When thinking about the design and functionality of your home, potential homeowners face one of the most significant decisions of their lifetime. It is estimated that the average person spends 80% of their lifetime indoors. While some of that includes time away at work or in your community, the vast majority of your time and memories made will be within the four walls of the place you call home. With this in mind, this space must reflect the lifestyle, growth, and needs you have in mind.
Building or buying is a big step, and the process can appear overwhelming and filled with unknowns. That’s where hiring an architect helps.
An architect is a professional who is specifically trained and licensed to work on the planning and design of buildings. The facets of an architect’s role are as varied and fascinating as their work; these are professionals who lead the process of creating functional spaces, from concept and design to a full realization of those designs.
Whether you have a new home or minor remodel in mind, your lifestyle offers insight that helps architects design spaces that reflect how you want to live, tying all of the details together into a cohesive package.
Great Understanding of Your Needs
We begin the design process by getting to know you and exploring your lifestyle. First and foremost, our job is simply to listen to our clients and translate their vision into an architectural expression that complies with building codes.
Tying your lifestyle in with three-dimensional spaces is our specialty. We can deliver more interesting and creative spaces that.
Work with the natural elements of the site and surroundings while factoring in budgets, schedules, building codes and zoning requirements.
Avoiding Design Errors
Specifically, errors included in plan books or with lack of experience. Planning and having well-detailed ideas on paper saves in the long run. It’s like the quote, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Our staff is trained to know the most up-to-date best practices and superior design through continued education and experience, and we bring this to each client.
Depending on their city’s codes, homeowners may also need to submit plans with an architect’s seal before beginning work. By utilizing a system that creates real plans embodying our client’s vision and professional perspective, we enter into the
Preparing highly detailed and accurate drawings significantly reduce design errors, conserving your valuable budget dollars. Utilizing three-dimensional building information modeling, we can account for a greater deal of realistic factual information very early in the process- further ensuring budget and schedule accuracy. This can be easily coordinated with contractors at any stage of the process as well.
We are experienced at creating big spaces with small budgets by finding creative solutions to complex questions. It is common for unexpected and unknown issues to arise during any project. As architects, we minimize and navigate the unknown through careful planning, research and understanding of the space throughout the entire design process. We can find the right strategies and materials to make the project both cost-effective and beautiful.
Good Design Is a Profitable Investment
Everyone has experienced a space that reflected unrealistic or frustrating design. Designing for function, flexibility, and timeless design adds extra value to the building. Simply put, well-designed homes have greater satisfaction and resale value over the life of the home.
They Will Help You Choose the Right Materials and Finishes
As a part of our team, our in-house interior designers have an intimate understanding of the project, leading to a smooth transition into choosing important materials and finishes for your home. Their knowledge of a wide range of materials enables them to recommend the congruous materials for your project based on budget requirements, proportions, and functionality of the space. It’s all about bringing the details together with the big picture.
Good Stewards of Resources
We have one earth to build on. As architects, we can help you be a part of preserving it. Efficient floor plans, proper building orientation and location, along with careful detailing and material selection, all play a part in ensuring this place will be here for the next generation. It also saves on your monthly utility bills while lowering long term building maintenance costs.
Designing and building a home is a personal matter. As your architect, we are your agent. We will take care of your interests.
Throughout the project, working alongside the contractor, engineers, and consultants. This particularly applies when it comes to design decisions and field changes. This facilitation minimizes the technical decision-making on the part of the client, who can focus on big picture decisions while we act as an advocate for your vision.
Negotiation With Your Contractor
The architect can handle the tough aspects of contract negotiations on your behalf, while checking for accuracy in implementation of design throughout the construction process, maintaining a clear understanding between all involved.
They Will Make Your Life Easier
Building is a long and complex process. Hiring a qualified team can benefit you, especially as it helps toward keeping a peace of mind by simplifying difficult decisions. With a trusted team of consultants, we have experience working as a team to keep drawings and ideas moving forward. We can help you get through the complex procedures to obtain the required building permits. As project managers, we will be facilitators in planning, designing and communication- all to achieve the end goal of making beautiful designs buildable.