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.