At Wright Building Company we’ve worked with some of the most talented residential architects in the country. Our Fairfield County, CT location gives us access to seasoned, skilled, and technologically advanced professionals that have the ability to design the most complex and beautiful homes. We’ve had the pleasure of building in a variety of home styles with a range of architects, and have developed valuable relationships along the way.
Homeowners often consider working without an architect as a way to save money. The truth is that architects can actually help you save money in the long run. When it comes to large, complex custom home jobs, or intricate home additions or renovations, architects can help you efficiently move through the process, ensure that the structure is exactly how you want it, and design the spaces appropriately. They know how to look at the big picture as well as the detailed aspects of a home construction job. Most importantly, they have the experience and knowledge to consider factors that homeowners cannot. Homeowners who try to manage the process on their own often see projects spin out of control. Simply put, it takes a professional to manage a project of this magnitude.
Finding a good architect starts with looking toward a trusted source. If you don’t have a personal reference, a good place to start can be with your homebuilder and/or the American Institute of Architects (AIA.) Experienced builders have strong working relations with trusted architects, and can help guide you toward someone who has experience in the type of home you’re looking for. The AIA has a searchable database of pros.
Once you’ve identified a short list, dig deeper and review your candidate’s portfolio of work. Although architects can build in any style, you may find it helpful to look at their previous work to determine if they share your basic aesthetic values. The portfolio can also show you the scale of projects they’ve worked on. If you’re building a waterfront home in Greenwich, CT, for example, it can be nice to know they have experience with waterfront architecture.
Custom home projects can involve significant hands-on interaction between the homeowner and architect. As a result, you’ll want to make sure that you feel comfortable with the individual you choose, and that you have a sense of trust in their ability to guide you through the process. They’ll work closely with you to help establish the full scope of the project, determine your exact needs, and help you plan for future needs. When it’s time to go to work, they will be there along the way, working with the contractor, to help you maximize your construction dollar.
The steps involved in the architectural process can vary between professionals; however, following is a fairly typical experience. Step 1 can start with an outline that details each phase of the project. The schematic design is next and will include preliminary floor plans and rough cost estimates (many revisions will take place from here.) After that is the design. This is where the size and character of the project is defined in more detail, including land gradation, lists of materials and finishes, a description of mechanical systems, etc. Finally, the construction drawings and specs are developed. These will be for the contractor to work from.
As with most things in life, you get what you pay for. When you’re making the significant investment in luxury home construction, it’s always a smart decision to use an architect. They will end up saving you money in the long run and can help make your dream home project come to life in ways that you probably can’t even imagine.