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What Should I Bring To My First Architect Meeting?

The first meeting is an exciting opportunity to kick off your project, regardless of who you want to partner with in renovating or constructing your home.


This first meeting can be strengthened with a little effort on your side, whether you've agreed that this is THE designer you're working with, or you're still checking the proverbial water.


Your vision can be expanded by a designer. Working with a designer offers a big chance to optimize your home 's potential. You can lose out on what is possible for your home if you only want your ideas and directions translated into drawings.


A designer from several other projects will add their skills and experience to yours. Their ability to adapt the experience to your individual needs depends on knowing what you want.


Some architects have timetables that they work to complete for their clients. To build a story about how they work, other architects talk with their customers. Others write room lists and particular requests.


Ultimately, it’s important to convey the story of you and your family. Your designer needs to get to know you really quickly – and pretty intimately at that. You can help them do this by sharing the answers to these questions:

Who are you?

A designer would probably make a lot of decisions on your behalf, from major ones about your home 's architecture to more specific ones about finishes and fixtures.


Comprehending who you are allows them to do as well. The sheer number of choices that a designer can make as lines are drawn on a page is difficult to predict, and your home design takes shape. A designer will benefit from comprehension to help the design serve you now, and always.


  • Who you are

  • Who is in your family and home (and whether that will change over the coming years)

  • How do you spend your time

  • What do you enjoy doing together, and separately

  • Why you are renovating or building


How do you want to live?

If you are planning a redesign or a new home, it is usually because, relative to your present situation, you have a different idea of how you would like to live.


What does this look like, then? What lifestyle do you think would help you have this home?


This is not a case of "we need a bigger house and more rooms" thought. It's all about why the bigger house and more space is needed. For instance:


  • Because your family is growing

  • You have active kids who need to be outside, be supervised and safe

  • You don’t all want to be on top of each other – but you also want spaces and places you can enjoy being together

  • You’re busy, and need to do a few jobs at the same time as being able to keep an eye on the kids

  • And you need room to comfortably have family and friends over, because that’s how you entertain and spend time with people.


How big a home do you want?

The response to this may not be known to you. Or you might have particular requests. It can often be as easy as the types and numbers of rooms that you're preparing. Or you may have some parts of the house that you want to keep, or the furniture that you want to keep.


You will most likely be asked questions about this by your designer to decide the size and style of home you want.


Mind, too, that bigger isn't better, though. So while you may want a 4-bed, 2-living, 2-car house, a compact design with versatile rooms may be a better option for your budget, lifestyle and venue. That is where the talent of the designer can come into play.


How much do you want to spend?

A main component of your brief is your budget.


It might be a bit of a chicken-and-egg ... because you do not know what you're going to pay, unless you know what you're going to get. And you do not have any idea what the price of your future plans could be either.


Be frank if you don't know, and ask your designer for suggestions about your budget. Don't leave this out and hope it will get resolved later ... as the plan, the design process and the overall project are influenced by the budget.


How do you want your home to look?

Everyone has a personal taste, and stuff they enjoy and are attracted to. You may have a particular preference for style, and your designer is an expert in that field, and for that reason, you have chosen them.


However, designers will often do plenty of different types of work and be even more influenced by the tastes of their customers.


You might say "I love the Hamptons style," but what do you think that looks like? Models will also have lots of variations. Bring frames, create a scrapbook, or share your board with Houzz Ideabook or Pinterest. It's a powerful way to easily express exactly what you're looking for in your own home when you have a set of pictures of items you love.


Do you have any information about your property?

You need some basic details about your land (and if you're renovating) your house to get started on any project. Things like survey drawings, current plans and service details.


These can also be passed down from previous owners to you, which can help the designer appreciate your home which site better.


What ideas do you have?

Some customers bring me drawings ... in Sketchup, they can be short sketches or completely drawn-up ideas. Others will carry floor plans from their beloved homes.


Don't feel like you need to bring sketches. Maybe you've got vocabulary. Maybe you have pictures from magazines. You may have a story about a time when you were on vacation and the bathroom was just fantastic.


It's all part of the rich tapestry that makes your home brief ... and also creates the architecture for it.


Finally …

You're bridging the expertise gap between you and your vision for your home while you're working with a designer.


So, if you have done your due diligence in selecting your designer, then choose your designer.

Are You Looking for an Architecture Firm to Design Your Home?


Ecobuild Architects provides exceptional design and construction administration services for residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects throughout California with an eye towards sustainable/ high-performance building solutions. We are experts in suggesting Cost-Effective/ Sustainable Solutions for any size project. If you are searching for an architect that specializes in Zero-Net Energy Building Envelope Design, Water Reuse, Healthy Indoor Air Quality, & Fire Resilient/ New Home Construction Practices, look no further than Ecobuild Architects in Oakland, California. Contact us today for your free consultation!

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