In the process of helping our customers we shall encourage them to ask themselves before we all get started on their project the following questions and the more detailed information they give, the easier it will be for the consultant architects to address their needs.
- Describe your current home. What do you like about it? What’s missing? What don’t you like? Do you want to change the space you have?
- Do you want to build a new home?
- Why do you want to build a house or add to or renovate your current home?
- What is your lifestyle? Are you at home a great deal? Do you work at home? Do you entertain often?
- How much time do you spend in the living areas, bedroom, kitchen, utility space etc.?
- How much time and energy are you willing to invest to maintain your home?
- If you are thinking of extending, what functions or activities will be housed in the new space?
- What kind of spaces do you need, e.g bedrooms, bigger kitchen, family room, bathrooms, etc?
- How many of those spaces do you think you need?
- What do you think the extension/ renovation/ new home should look like?
- What do you envisage in your new home that your present home lacks?
- How much can you realistically afford to spend?
- How soon would you like to be settled into your new home or extension? Are there rigid time restraints?
- If you are thinking of building a home, do you have a site selected?
- Do you have strong ideas about design? What are your design preferences?
- Who will be the primary contact with the architect, contractor, and others involved in designing and building your project? (It is good to have one point of contact to prevent confusion and mixed messages)
- What qualities are you looking for in an architect?
- Is there anyone in the family with a disability or do you envisage staying in the house for a long time, mobility problems of aging may need to be addressed?
- Is sustainable development and increased energy effciency of importance to you?
- How much disruption in your life can you tolerate to extend or renovate your home?
The Project Stages
Extending and improving your home can bring enormous benefits to your life style and potentially increase the value of your home. Working with a professionally qualified and registered architect should be an enjoyable and creative process. Design is also a two-way process into which you will feed not only your aspirations and requirements but also your constraints of budget and time. A good working relationship is essential to the success of a project.
Appointing an Architect and Fees
Once you have identified your architect and agreed to engage them for your project, a contract is drawn up. The RIAI publishes a range of agreements for use by client and architect, which are suited to projects of varying complexity and explain the scope of the services available to the client. Your architect will advise on the most appropriate contract to use. Agreements for other types of projects are also available and examples of the front page of these