Often we are asked by our clients, the process of designing a home and how we can communicate with our architect if not available for meetings.
In the era when communicating through online portals became so easy and fast, discussing the progress of your design became very easy.
But lets start “explaining” what is the design and how long it takes to have the home of your dreams.
You decided to hire an architect ( or planning to) to design your home. It can be really hard to understand the architecture language if you are not familiar with ( and we totally understand ), but we will help you know basics understanding for a better communication between you and your design professional.
Let’s try to simplify by breaking down the process and setting out the stages from design to construction to completion. Keep in mind that each stage has time variances, and that this is a guide only to support you in better understanding.
- Initial Meeting “Programming”
Be ready to reply to your architect a few questions:
- What are the functional needs of your new space (number of spaces you expecting, number of people this home will accommodate)
- Develop architectural design goals for your home (the architecture style you are looking for, specific features like swimming pool, indoor garden, etc). Show to your architect inspirational homes.
- Discuss next steps and your architectural design (let your architect guide you through all steps of designs, and advise what is best for your home).
- Review preliminary budget requirements (establish a budget with your architect. The architect can guide you through a preliminary cost of your home).
Once your architect has all the requirements he needs, the process of designing begins.
- Schematic Design
In this stage we highly recommend site visits to document existing conditions, coordination with consultants (geotechnical engineers for technical reports) and other details to be able to design correctly.
Even it may not seem important, be patient, as these elements are very keen for later construction administration.
It is then when all your requirements are translated into a layout of interior spaces, and develop basic exterior design and other features requested by you ( the client).
While it may take additional time for the architect to submit their initial design, this phase is typically completed in 2-3 weeks.
This initial sketch it is presented to you and modified and develop until satisfied with the project. It may take months.
Here it is all about you ( the client). Work closely with your architect to achieve the best result.
This stage is very important because once you agree on the design, there aren’t many changes you can do.
“Take your time in designing your home. “
- Design Development
In this phase, the design team will define the concept approved proposal and develop it to exterior design and other services.
The exterior design, interior layouts, rooms dimensions and exterior materials are more fully designed.
The design engineers team will further develop construction, plumbing and electrical systems.
In the development stage is the final part of the design process, and approvals and processing times are based on each country’s standard rules and whether there are any issues that breach these rules.
This stage timing is very hard to predict as has so many steps to follow, but be ready to have the patience of 4 to 10 weeks.
At the end of this process you will receive the full design of your home and can get ready for construction.
- Construction Documents, Bidding & Construction Administration
This phases basically take your design drawings and specifications to the contractor who will build your home. There are many ways to hire a contractor.
You can choose them based on their qualifications, recommendations, and then negotiate with them, or you could select them based on their quote.
Your architect can help you explore your options.
The construction administration is the architect visits which can be weekly or monthly depending on your project.
Don’t skip this stage as you will surely want your architect team to keep an eye on your home, to be sure the end is as you expected.
Keep a good communication between your architect and contractor to make sure you home is not delayed.
The timing of construction varies with so many factors, but be ready to wait from 8 to 24 months until you receive your home.
- Let’s Communicate
We live in a time when everything is possible and reaching someone online is very easy.
You can do same with your architect and use useful time to design from your home.
Good communication is the cornerstone of building trust. “We get lost in the design process, and then we forget to communicate what’s happening and how it’s happening in an effective way and on a regular basis.
A regular check-in online can bring potential problems to the surface early in the process and the architect can easily and faster bring it to your attention.
A strong online relationship can save you time and money.
Discuss with your architect the online portals, the good timing and schedules. Be aware of all phases and keep track easily of progress of your design.
Designing a project from A to Z is not an easy task, especially if you are looking for something creative and innovative.
“Give time to the design process. You are designing and building your home.”