Get the House Design You Want

Get the House Design You Want

When you are thinking of having a new house designed and built, you are wondering how to get the house design you want, aren’t you?  The answer is easy: hire an architect.  Your search is done.  This is one of the main reasons to engage an architect to design your residence.

You Are Special

get the house design you want
Click on this photo to see testimonials from satisfied clients for this house architect.

Some people may think that they can simply look at the Internet and find what they want for their house design, but it doesn’t exist.  What does this mean?  You are unique.  So is everyone.  Most people find fault with designs that are existing that were created for someone else.  Once again, why?  Because you are special.  You have 3 kids instead of 2.  You have a spouse that snores, so you need a secondary place to sleep near the Master Bedroom, but far enough so that you can sleep without the sound waking you.  You have a hobby of making stained glass or sewing quilts or stringing fly fishing gear, or you have a collection of vintage vehicles.  And more.  Everyone is different.

What Contractors Want

get the house design you want
CC2005 Creative Commons Werner Herdecke. Builders want to “Git R Done.” Click on this photo to see a list of Services provided by this residential architect.

You have been looking, thinking that you’ll just find a little plan from a magazine, tear that out and then give that to a builder, along with your list of changes.  Well; it doesn’t work that way.  Builders mainly build and architects design.  Asking either one of them to do a complex activity in which they are not licensed and trained is sort of like asking your dentist to go out on the soccer field and win a tournament for you.  Builders have one mission: to build what has been designed.  They do not like changes and they will refuse to give you a price until there are drawings that clearly depict what it is that you want built.  Contractors do not want to be left holding the bag when they may have misinterpreted some spoken or written instruction/change from you.  They want it indicated precisely and graphically, so that they perfectly understand what you are asking.  Then, and only then will they give you a price.  Too many builders have had to go through unpleasant legal action due to misinterpretations.  All they want to do is build what the drawings indicate.

Once again: builders are not fond of changes, which is why most clients howl at the charges for what are called “Change Orders.”  Change Orders are typically created when you, as the client, request new upgrades or outright changes from what has been agreed upon between you and your contractor.  In other words, you are much better off having a detailed set of architect-created documents on which to base your agreement with your builder, so that no one is attempting to take advantage of anyone else.  And you pay extra only for things that you, in your own good judgement, want to change.

How Do You Know the Plan Works for You?

Also, a little plan torn from a magazine does not have sufficient size for you to adequately understand the scale of the relationships within it.  For instance, how large is your furniture?  Is that your furniture shown on that little plan from the magazine?  Is any furniture shown?  How do you know that your furniture will fit?  The one and only way to know for sure is to have a competent residential architect (an actual, degreed, licensed architect, not a “wanna-be”) design your house.  Someone like Rand Soellner of the HOME ARCHITECTS ®, for instance, always shows furniture on his floor plans, so that he and you both know that it works for your desired lifestyle and furniture placement.

Would You Buy Your Car From Some Guys Up the Street?

Let’s put this in perspective.  Would you ever consider having some guys that worked out of their garage down the road from you put together a car for you that you would then take your family in on an extended vacation to the other side of the USA or into Canada or Mexico, while driving at highway speeds for hours at a time?  Of course not.  Okay, and DOESN’T YOUR HOUSE COST MUCH MORE THAN ANY OF YOUR VEHICLES?  And doesn’t your family’s health and very lives depend on your house being a healthy place in which to live and to have resist the elements like scorching summer sun, freezing winters, rainfall deluges, high winds, even earthquakes?  Wouldn’t you want at least the same level of expertise going into the design of your house that goes into the design of your vehicles?  Once again: are you going to buy your next vehicle for your family’s travel from some guys down the road?  No, of course not; you are going to buy from General Motors, Ford, VW, Toyota, or other highly qualified and experienced designer of cars and SUVs.  Carrying this logic forward, the suggestion is herein offered that you consider having highly qualified licensed professionals designing your house: an architect.  And before you say you can’t afford that, you would be amazed at how a real architect can more than save you their fee by how they design your residence.

What Your Local Building Department Doesn’t Tell You

Do you think that “Aw, I’m okay with having 3 guys and a pickup truck build my house; it gets inspected by my local building department?”  First: how many city or county building inspectors do you know that are actually a licensed architect or an engineer?  Very, very few.  And what do you think it is that they are enforcing?  Your drawings?  No.  They are there, once in a big while, to try to enforce what they believe is MINIMUM building code for houses in your area.  Are you aware that the IRC (International Residential Code) which has been adopted by all states in the USA, has absolutely No requirement for seismic structural resistance if your house is being built in a light to moderate earthquake zone (which covers a great deal of many areas)?  Okay, let’s think about this now.  You are thinking that your house design will be okay because you got it from a builder whose main motivation is to build the house in as short a time as possible, as cheaply as possible, with once-in-a-while building inspectors (with likely no professional licensed qualifications) who are trying to enforce only Minimum code.  Does that sound like you will end up with a high quality house that will consider your family’s best interests for their health and safety?  Check out this related article, if you might be interested–>Why you want an Architect.

get the house design you want
Formaldehyde has been used for decades in fiberglass insulation. Architects can specify non-formaldehyde products that perform better and are more family-healthy.  Click on this photo above to see more about Energy Efficiency in house design.

How about energy considerations?  Do you think that your builder, will, out of the goodness of his heart and for no extra charge, super-insulate your house beyond currently required R-values?

Check out this related article about the new: SupR-Wall (which NO builders are providing to date, in the USA, but should).

Do you think that your builder  will devote considerable care to plug up penetrations through your building envelope that will prevent infiltration (unwanted outside air entering your structure that costs you energy dollars and also permits bugs and mice to enter your house)?  And will the local building inspector care?  As long as “Minimum code” is what he sees during his hurried, quick, widely-spaced visits?  What do you think will be happening to your cashflow in the future, as the cost of electricity and other energy continues to skyrocket?  Right.  You will have to pay more of your future hard-earned dollars heating and cooling and illuminating your non-professionally designed house, because it was designed and built according to “Code Minimums” currently in effect when it was built, without any thought for your pocketbook as the future comes calling, billing you for a house that guzzles energy instead of an architect-designed house that would merely sip energy. Check out this related article about how you can save big bucks by having your Architect design your house with more –> energy efficient lighting.

And how does that make you feel when you have concerns about Global Warming?  Did you endeavor to make your house more efficient?  Or did you allow lower-end builders and today’s code minimums to rob you and the planet of a better, healthier future?

How about formaldehyde off-gassing of construction materials in your house?  Do you or any of your children or other relatives that will be in the house for extended periods of time have asthma or other respiratory problems?
Click here to see more about –> Healthier Insulation and Reduced Formaldehyde Building Materials .
Architects think about this issue and some, like Rand Soellner, Architect, ArCH/NCARB/LHI, specify lower levels or no formaldehyde in construction materials.  Did you know that the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) as of this date (Spring 2012) has No requirement for materials like standard fiberglass insulation to Not have formaldehyde in it?  Do you also know that this common building material Does normally have formaldehyde?  Architects that are concerned about their clients’ welfare think about issues like the air that you breathe in the houses that they design for you and your family.

Do you think that the economy builder and your building department will do anything about these issues as long as they are not in the “minimum code?”  This is one of the reasons people hire an architect to design a custom house: they want something better.  A house that is healthier, stronger, safer, more beautiful, better organized and that has incorporated your lifestyle in its design.

Click here if you might be interested in more –> Reasons for an Architect to Design Your Home .

What It Takes To Become An Architect

Get the house design you want
Rand Soellner, licensed Architect, meeting with clients and Contractor. (C) Copyright 2006 Home Architect, PLLC, All Rights Reserved Worldwide.  Click on this photo to see the Share Your Dreams Form, where you can describe what you want in your house.

Same thing with your house.  There are some architects these days with Master’s Degrees in Architectural Design (such as Rand Soellner with the HOME ARCHITECTS ®).  It takes about 6 to 8 years of demanding University and Graduate School courses from the top colleges in the United States.  They don’t give that level of knowledge away; you have to earn it.  And on your way to becoming a licensed architect, you then typically intern for about 10 more years with experienced licensed architects watching your every move, making sure that you understand the implications of what you design and how it goes together, for the Health, Safety and Welfare of the public in mind.  You still aren’t done at that point: you then have to pass a grueling multi-day multiple-part long detailed exam with hundreds of questions about all aspects of architectural design, including actually designing a project right there in the exam session.  Not many people pass all parts of the exam the first time they try; some never do.  It so happens that Rand Soellner did.  Becoming a real, licensed architect takes decades of planning and work and experience.  Then, you are allowed to apply to a State Board of Architecture to become an Architect.  Other licensed architects have to vouch for your abilities, experience and character.  You have to document all of your experience in special areas of know-how.

Then once you do become a licensed Architect, you spend decades developing skills pertaining to one or more specialties.  No one can be great at everything, in a similar manner,  medical doctors specialize, so do Architects.  So, becoming skilled at designing houses takes decades more.  So, why would anyone want to be penny-wise and pound-foolish regarding the design of their house?  Hire a pro.  Hire a real Architect that has decades of experience designing houses.  Ask to see their college degree.  Ask to see their license (some, like Rand Soellner have several architectural licenses in various states across the USA).  Ask to see their NCARB Certification (only the best Architects have this certification).

How to Have Your House Properly Designed

Don’t you want someone with this skill level designing your family’s house?  Of course you do.  And here’s the simple way to get started: click here –>
Contact Residential Architect .

This will put you in touch with one of the leading residential architects in the United States who has been designing houses of all sizes: small, medium and large, for decades.  Fresh, new, open plan design concepts, tried and true traditional, cutting edge transitional all beginning by Listening to What You Want.

Think your project is too small?  Soellner of the HOME ARCHITECTS ® has been designing custom residential projects for clients all over the USA for decades, with floor plans as small as 394 HSF (Heated Square Feet).  That was a mother-in-law suite above a garage.  So don’t imagine that your request for a 1,400 HSF modest cottage, or 2,500 HSF lake house or other size project might not interest a good residential architect.  Half of the motivation for many quality Architects is the challenge and interest they have, involved with each unique project.  Such as yours.  Other people want a mansion or castle; those are part of the specialties of this Architect as well.  Soellner has designed super-efficient HUD housing for economy-oriented governmental agencies and also has designed lavish, luxurious houses for the well-to-do.  Your project may be somewhere in between.

Click here to see a varied residential: –> Project Index , any projects of which can be customized to suit you, or created from scratch, as you wish.

Listening to What You Want

This is where the process begins.  With you telling your Architect what you want.  That is the main idea of having a house custom designed for you: to have a design created that fits your Lifestyle comfortably.  And where else are you going to find such a design?  Nowhere.  You need an Architect to translate your spoken wishes into a custom design that works for you and your loved ones.

Click here for the main website: Residential Architect .

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