Our Blog

5 Reasons to Engage an Architect Early in the Home Building Process

5 Reasons to Engage an Architect Early in the Home Building Process

Starting a new building project can be fun and exciting at first — and then quickly turn into an overwhelming and daunting experience. Making a million decisions about big and small aspects of your future home can leave you feeling frustrated and exhausted. You might start out with a few ideas of what you want your new home to look like, but over time, it can be hard to picture how all the details will come together.

That’s why working with an architect early in the building process can be a great benefit. These trained professionals have the education and experience to work with homeowners and other building professionals to get your project off on the right foot.

Here are five good reasons you’ll want to contact an architect in the beginning phase of planning your new timber frame home:

  1. They bring your vision to life. Taking advantage of a professional’s expertise means you can have a home that’s perfectly suited for your lifestyle, hobbies, sustainability goals, and more. An architect will evaluate your lot and help you determine the optimal layout for the grade, slope, shade, sun exposure, and specific location of your home. They can highlight the priorities you value most and fit them into the design, so the home you build is the one you’ve always wanted. If building a sustainable home is important to you, architects can help you incorporate energy efficiency into the design by considering sun and natural light. They can also help you reduce heating and cooling bills throughout the year through various building materials and techniques. Their knowledge and experience can help you achieve the goals you have in mind for cutting costs and going green. Architectural drawings are incredibly detailed thanks to modern technology and software programs, so you get a real sense of what your home will look like even before the builders break ground. This lessens the chance of any hidden surprises later, and you can feel confident in what you’re getting. Also, it’s much easier and more cost-effective to make changes to the plan at this point, before major construction begins. Working with an architect early in the planning process means you’re more likely to get the home, and the features, you want.
  2. They’ll make your project even better. For important decisions in life, it’s best to consult the experts. Architects go through rigorous training and have years of expertise to make them the ideal professionals for designing the home you want. They complete five to six years of training at a university to obtain a degree, followed by an additional two years of post-graduate work experience, before taking exams to officially become an architect. They’re also required to complete training each year to stay on top of new technologies, techniques, and materials as well as new legislation and regulations. Architects can enhance your plans, visions, and ideas for your new home. They have the education, training, and experience to walk you through every step of the process with confidence. In fact, they can help you plan aspects you may not have considered. They’ll make sure you have enough electrical outlets, light fixtures, and ventilation for each room — features you may have overlooked. Architects also have a knack for utilizing materials and space creatively. In the hands of these skilled professionals, a cramped one-bedroom studio apartment can be transformed into a space that feels like it has a much larger footprint. Maximizing every inch of the layout ensures clients get everything they want in their designs. Architects are also likely to have existing working relationships with engineers and other building professionals, such as structural, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineers, as well as plumbing and HVAC specialists. Having connections and knowing the right people can help cut costs and improve the functionality of home designs. For example, electrical engineers might suggest moving the placement of outlets or fixtures to cut costs and increase functionality while maintaining the integrity of the blueprint. Relying on the experience of trained professionals creates a smooth building process to bring you the home you’ll love.
  3. An architect can help you avoid surprise costs. No one likes reaching into their pockets for more money. If you have a firm budget in place for building a new home, it can feel defeating every time an unexpected expense pops up. Relying on the expertise of an architect means you’re less likely to find surprises on the bottom line. Architects rely on their years of experience to develop precise drawings that aid in pricing out all aspects of your home, and they can help you make cost-effective decisions early in the process so you can stay within your budget. Architects also know tricks and tips for optimizing a design to reduce wasted materials, which decreases overall costs. For example, if you planned to build a wall that was 8’2″ tall, you would have to buy 10′ studs instead of the standard 8′ studs, which means lots of wasted material and money down the drain. Changing the wall’s height by a mere 2″ will save considerable amounts of money without affecting much of the overall design. Architects are also familiar with various materials and products, which can help you save money on maintenance and replacement costs down the road. Choosing the right doors, windows, flooring, and building materials can help you cut down on up-front costs as well as replacement fees in a few years. Architects have seen it all, so they have a good idea of products that are worth your money and which ones will drain your bank account. Using an architect early in the building process can even help you make money over time. They have the knowledge and expertise of what makes a good design, and buildings with good design have a higher resale value. So, while you may be planning on building your forever home, you should still consider its resale value just in case. Homes with good design and high resale value are easier to sell. Using an architect from the very beginning is a decision you’ll be glad you made, whether you stay in your new home forever or sell it a few years later.
  4. An architect can help you avoid legal matters.  Home builders are often shocked when they meet unexpected legal roadblocks early in the planning phase. Zoning restrictions and regulations can press pause on building plans until all legal matters are addressed. Working with an architect early in the process can help everything run smoothly from start to finish. Because of architects’ ongoing education and training, they are typically up-to-date on zoning restrictions, building codes, and safety standards. Addressing the legal aspects of a construction project early in the process can save time, money, and headaches. No one wants to get halfway through a construction project only to find out it doesn’t meet proper safety standards or building codes. Doing things right means relying on the expertise of the professionals. Having an architect on your building team helps to ensure your home meets the necessary standards.
  5. They make the overall building process a smoother experience. Working with an architect from the very beginning results in design continuity for the entire project. Architects maintain a schedule that will help you stick to key milestone dates as you work toward completion. They work on your behalf to coordinate with the contractor to make sure the timeline stays on track and to ensure you’re getting the standard of quality you expect. Architects understand common questions and mistakes, and they can address concerns before they become a problem. When you work with an architect, you have an expert on your team to guide you through the process. They coordinate with everyone involved, fielding questions and responding to messages, so you don’t have to be the middleman. You can build with confidence because they know what you need, even before you realize it, which makes the whole process much simpler.

Thinking About a Timber Frame Home?

Are you dreaming about your next home? Choosing to work with an architect is one of the best decisions you can make before starting the building process. Adding their experience and expertise to your building team will lead to a home you love with fewer headaches along the way. If you’re ready to start building a beautiful timber frame home, barn, or other venue, contact us [link to: https://matfllc.com/start-a-project/]. We’d love to partner with you and your architect to build something impressive. Let’s start a conversation today.

Connect With Us