Whether you’re building a new home, renovating or putting on an addition, starting off with an effective team of experts helps the project move along smoothly, efficiently and on-budget.
First to consider are your needs. How are you going to live in the space? Have you thought about landscaping? Are you going to be incorporating any audiovisual systems? These may seem like post-construction concerns, but these are all issues that should be addressed early on in a project. For example, if your builder doesn’t know about the technology you’re installing, there might be spacing or electrical issues down the road that could be avoided. An interior designer helps with decisions like tile selections, fixtures and crown moldings. A landscape architect can assist with positioning the home on the lot in anticipation of landscaping needs. By incorporating the entire design team early on, you can avoid problems and ultimately lower your costs. You may also discover more options available with the design of your home.
Being honest and upfront about your budget is also extremely important when you start to pull together your team. Once you know what you want, figure out how much you can spend. Whether you start with an architect or a builder, be transparent with what you hope to accomplish and what you can realistically afford. Once this is established, a team can be built based on your criteria. Withholding your budget will slow down the process and create false expectations.
Once you determine your needs and budget, it’s time to start reaching out. One of the best ways to find a great firm is through referrals. Ask other homeowners you know if they had an exceptional experience with anyone. Take a look at a firm’s website and see if their portfolio aligns with your ideas. No matter which firm you hire first, ask who they recommend. Many builders, architects and designers work together on projects on a regular basis, so they will be able to give you names of firms they work well with and who will be a great fit for your project.
Finally, understand what’s expected of you as the homeowner. You will need to meet with members of your team on a regular basis. They also might ask you how you prefer to communicate; by phone call, text, email, etc. Make sure you’re available and involved but also don’t be afraid to speak up if you have concerns. Having a collaborative team you feel comfortable with is the key to reducing stress and streamlining the process to get exactly what you want out of your home project.