4 Tips for Working with an Architect to Design Your New Home

Working with an architect to design your new house is vital to suc­cess­ful­ly building the home of your dreams. An architect plans, designs, and can even help to coor­di­nate the con­struc­tion of your house. He or she is also crucial to com­plet­ing the project on time and budget.

Five Reasons a New Homeowners Benefits from Working with an Architect

  • A pro­fes­sion­al architect will ensure a home building project meets the occupant’s current and future require­ments and desires.
  • A good architect can design spaces in a home for specific activ­i­ties or user’s needs.
  • The cre­ativ­i­ty and problem-solving skills of an architect antic­i­pate obstacles and chal­lenges of a project, which provides early mit­i­ga­tion that can save a homeowner money.
  • Archi­tects will perform a site analysis. The goal of a site analysis is to maximize energy-effi­cien­cy by home ori­en­ta­tion and ensure the house frames specific landscape features.
  • A good architect can design an energy-efficient home with high indoor envi­ron­men­tal quality (IEQ) features like excellent air, light, and sound quality.

Four Tips for Working with an Architect to Design Your Home

When designing a new home, archi­tects are essential in helping future home­own­ers define their goals and fine tune the interior and exterior designs. Impor­tant­ly, a knowl­edge­able architect under­stands struc­tur­al integrity, local building codes, green design, and other critical engi­neer­ing and legal com­po­nents of con­struct­ing a new home.

Suc­cess­ful­ly working with an architect is dependent on iden­ti­fy­ing your goals for your new home, selecting the right architect, good com­mu­ni­ca­tion and respect­ing the archi­tec­t’s expertise.

1. Home­own­ers Must First Identify the Goals for Their Future Home

Before meeting with an architect, it is crucial that home­own­ers have a clear under­stand­ing of what they want for the interior and exterior of their new home; both now and in the future. It is also vital that the home­own­ers have a realistic budget.

Col­lect­ing floor plans, images, and product infor­ma­tion can help an architect under­stand a homeowner’s expec­ta­tion of their future home. Home­own­ers that provide an architect with a feasible budget and organized design goals will create a path towards suc­cess­ful project completion.

2. How to Select an Architect for a New Home

Future home­own­ers and their architect work closely together for the duration of the home­build­ing project; therefore, it is critical that a homeowner is com­fort­able and trusts the architect pro­fes­sion­al opinions. When inter­view­ing an architect for your new home, there are several essential questions a homeowner should ask.

  • Can the architect provide rec­om­men­da­tions from past completed home projects?
  • Does the architect have the expertise that matches with your home project?
  • Does the architect know and under­stand current market trends and con­struc­tion techniques?
  • Does the architect have a good record for deliv­er­ing home projects on budget?
  • Does the architect believe he or she can achieve your home­build­ing goals within your budget?
  • Ask the architect about their fee schedule timeline for project delivery?
  • How often does the architect typically stop by a job site?

3. Establish Good Com­mu­ni­ca­tion with Your Architect

Good com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the architect and client is vital to the success of the project. Once home­own­ers select an architect, home­own­ers must thor­ough­ly com­mu­ni­cate to the architect what they want and need in their future home. It is then the archi­tec­t’s job to make design sug­ges­tions to ensure the homeowner meets their goals but also stays within budget. At this point, it is also crucial that the architect has good com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the builder because it is the builder’s respon­si­bil­i­ty to quote the product.

As the project pro­gress­es, it is the architect’s respon­si­bil­i­ty to imme­di­ate­ly inform the home­own­ers when features they choose are adding costs that may exceed their budget. It is crucial that the clients respect the archi­tec­t’s expertise to keep on budget.

However, it is not the architect’s job to quote a specific price in the project; that again, is the respon­si­bil­i­ty of the con­trac­tor. It is critical to keeping a project on a budget that the architect always com­mu­ni­cate with the con­trac­tor important infor­ma­tion he or she gathered during a client meeting, and vice versa.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the clients, architect, and builder is essential to the suc­cess­ful com­ple­tion, within the budget, of a home building project.

4. Respect the Architect’s Building and Con­struc­tion Knowledge

Clients that want to stay on budget and reach their con­struc­tion goals are wise to listen to their architect’s expertise in building and con­struc­tion knowledge.

  • Archi­tects make sure a home building project is compliant with codes and local require­ments and standards.
  • Archi­tects also help clients choose the latest high-per­for­mance building products, tech­niques, and systems (like the wall assembly) that are durable, disaster-resis­tance, energy-efficient, low-main­te­nance and con­tribute towards good IEQ.

Why Architect’s Select ICF Wall Systems for High-Performing Homes 

The latest demands and require­ments of building materials and assem­blies are trans­form­ing how archi­tects and home­own­ers select walls for a high-per­form­ing house. Home­own­ers and archi­tects demand that the walls of a home are energy-efficient, disaster-resistant, durable, and healthy. An ideal product for achieving all these demands are insu­lat­ing concrete forms (ICFs), like the Bautex Wall System.

The Bautex Wall Assembly is Energy-Efficient

The Bautex Wall System is a high thermal mass product that provides con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion (CI), thermal mass, and very airtight con­struc­tion. The Bautex Wall System achieve an R‑14 con­tin­u­ous insu­la­tion that exceeds the latest energy codes in most climate zones. Bautex provides as much as 3.5 times the insu­lat­ing per­for­mance of a tra­di­tion­al wood framed home.

The Bautex Wall Assembly is Disaster-Resistant

Bautex Blocks create a fire-resistant wall. They have an ASTM E119 fire rating of four-hours and ASTM E84 values for smoke devel­op­ment of twenty and flame speed of zero (the don’t catch fire and very little smoke is released when burned). They also meet the NFPA 101 basic life safety code.

The Bautex Wall System resists strong winds and flying debris. Bautex meets theFEMA 361 and FEMA 320 guide­lines in storm zones with wind speeds up to 250 miles per hour (mph). The Bautex Wall System also has the mass and strength to resist the impact of flying debris at speeds greater than 100 mph.

The Bautex Wall Assembly Creates Durable Walls

Bautex Blocks are durable, and low-main­te­nance because they are not prone to rot and termites. The wall system is very stable over time when exposed to the elements, ensuring that the building will perform as well 50 or 100 years after con­struc­tion. Many other wall systems dete­ri­o­rate over time and must be regularly main­tained and repaired.

Bautex Block Wall Assembly Creates Healthy IEQ 

  • Bautex AMB 20 air and moisture barrier applied to the block wall prevents air and moisture infil­tra­tion to the interior of a home’s wall system, which limits the growth of unhealthy mold.
  • Bautex Blocks have no toxic volatile organic compound (VOC).
  • The Bautex Wall Assembly reduces the transfer of sound between the outside to the inside of a structure. The Bautex Wall System achieved a high Sound Trans­mis­sion Class (STC) rating of 51 and a high Outdoor-Indoor Trans­mis­sion Class (OITC) per­for­mance rating of 47. That is nearly twice the noise reduction of a standard wood frame wall.

Suc­cess­ful­ly working with an architect to design your new house is critical to achieving the goals for your new home. Tips for working with an architect include knowing your goals for the new home, picking the right architect, good com­mu­ni­ca­tions, and trusting the archi­tec­t’s expertise.