Pro Tips: How to Choose a Designer or Architect

Pro Tips: How to Choose a Designer or Architect

Springtime is when many are inspired to find their first or next home. Maybe you have decided you want to build and after searching house plans or garage plans on The House Plan Company website, you’ve found a plan that nearly checks all the boxes. Perhaps you would prefer more of an open-concept living area – providing some slight separately of space – over the popular great room style layout. Maybe you want to add a mud hall to help organize coats and shoes. Whatever the changes are that will make a great floor plan perfect for you and your family, meeting with a professional designer or architect is the next important step in your design and build journey.

“At first glance, a house plan or accessory structure may meet most of a homeowner’s expectations, but more often than not a few modifications to the design may needed” said Rick McAlexander, CEO of Associated Designs whose designs are featured on The House Plan Company. “A design professional is best suited to make any adjustments to a home plan, and it’s important to find the right one who can translate what a homeowner wants into the plan.”

The first tip in selecting a design professional to customize your house plan is experience. A professional with experience in home design, as well as expertise in the particular style of home you want to build, is a good indicator of a successful outcome.

“In addition to experience, personality plays a key role in selecting the right design professional,” said McAlexander. “The designer or architect is a critical partner in helping to realize your dream home and therefore compatibility is an important aspect of the relationship for communicating exactly what you want in your home or garage design.”

Next tip, making sure you find a design professional you feel comfortable talking with. A professional designer should be your partner, collaborator, sounding board and idea generator. They need to be able to understand who you are and what you want and translate it into the design of your new home, which ultimately is a reflection of your personality and lifestyle. The right design professional should offer ideas and suggestions and solve problems, rather than simply follow your instructions. The entire process should be collaborative in nature in order to arrive at the perfect design.

Tip #3, ask the designer about their process. The way each designer or architect works is unique to their firm. With customizations to a plan, it is important to ask if there are review stages, if there is a limit to the number of revisions, and what the design professional timeframes are. It is important to understand the process and the timing before getting started.

“With the right designer collaborating with you through each step of the planning and design process, you’ll be that much closer to making your dream home a reality,” said McAlexander.

In the end, a professional designer with experience and the right personality can help you build the home of your dreams and make it a fun, easy and inspiring journey. 

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