Bay area home renovation

Working with an Architect

Sep 07 2022


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Every construction project or remodel has to start with a plan. If you’ve been dreaming of building a custom home, adding an ADU to your property, or renovating your existing home, you probably already know that you need an architect to transform the ideas in your head into the designs and drawings necessary to move forward with construction. But how do you choose the right architect for the job? Here are some points to consider:

Be clear on what you want in your project from the start: Before you start interviewing architects, you should think about the type and scope of your project and what features it should have to meet your needs. Consider your style preferences and your budget as well. This basic information will allow you to narrow your search to architects who have experience in similar types of projects.

Know what services you need from your architect: Some architects will handle a comprehensive range of design services, including permit and construction drawings, interior design, furniture selection, landscape master planning, and more. In other cases, where clients know what they want or want to copy an existing design, they may simply need permit drawings. Knowing what you need will assist in selecting an architect with the right capabilities.

Look into their specialization: Architects tend to specialize in certain kinds of buildings—for example, commercial versus residential. You will get the best results by finding an architect that works primarily on projects like yours, which will help ensure they’re familiar with the building and construction type and are knowledgeable in navigating the required permitting processes.

Review their portfolio: Seeing an architect’s past work is one of the best ways to determine if their style is compatible with yours. While most architects can satisfy a range of styles, most have their own aesthetic. You’ll also want to look for projects like what you’re planning, to see how the architect handled that type of design challenge in the past.

Request references: Talking to previous clients can give you vital insight on what it’s like to work with a particular architect.

Meet with the architect: When you’re down to a short list of candidates, you should meet with the architects you’re considering. This is an opportunity for you to let them know what you’re looking for in the project, and for them to ask questions. A major remodel or new construction can take some time, so you want to be sure you have a good working relationship and clear communication with your architect throughout.

Understand their fee proposal: Fees can vary considerably depending on the location, size, scope, and complexity of the project. Make sure you understand both the cost and what is included in your agreement before you commit.

From Design to Reality

When you’ve found the right architect and have worked together to create the plans that reflect your vision, you then need a contractor who can turn those drawings into reality. At Hometelligent, we’re experienced at taking on architectural challenges and ensuring the result exceeds our clients’ expectations. We’ve found that nearly every project can throw something unexpected our way, but our expertise allows us to navigate unforeseen circumstances while staying true to the intent of your plans.

To take an extreme example of an architectural design challenge, the recently remodeled Suspension House shows what can be accomplished with creativity operating within a rigid set of requirements. The house was a remodel of an existing structure built over a creek—something that California no longer allows. The remodel had to follow the exact footprint of the previous building. The architect and engineers on the project designed a new suspension-type structure to support the house and a new upper floor while allowing the creek to run unimpeded beneath it. Floor-to-ceiling windows, open floorplans, and minimalist design maximize the focus on the beautiful landscape surrounding the home. There’s much that could have gone wrong in the construction of this home—and undoubtedly many challenges that arose during the process—but the finished result looks effortlessly beautiful.

If you’re looking for a seasoned contractor and project manager who can complete your project on time and within budget, you can trust Bay Area-based Hometelligent. We’ve worked successfully with countless architects to fulfill their clients’ wishes, and we have decades of experience in meeting California’s stringent building regulations. We pride ourselves on clear communication, consistent follow-through, and top-quality craftsmanship on every project. To find out more about how Hometelligent can help with your remodel or new construction project, contact us here.


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