Organizing the construction of a building is a big commitment and can quickly become an intimidating experience. With the amount of effort that goes into a building project, you’re going to want to make sure your architect delivers your vision and nothing less. In the following article, we’ll be discussing how to ensure your Sacramento architect provides the perfect design.
Understanding Your Needs and Visions
Before going out and finding an architect, you need to solidify certain aspects of what you want out of your building. You’ll first need to set in stone what it is you actually need out of the building project. Be sure to gather information such as size requirements, requests for specific layouts of the building, and importantly how you want the building to function. A useful resource for getting your vision across to your potential architect is photos and drawings of buildings that fit your idea. There are plenty of architecture-focused blogs, social media accounts across various platforms, and even magazines (if you’re still into that) that you can draw inspiration from and use as a reference. Now is also the time for you to get a rough idea of your budget and timeline. It’s important to be realistic when setting a timeline and keep in mind potential delays.
Finding the Right Architect in Sacramento
Once you have your overall vision arranged, you have to actually find the architect you want to work with. Choosing an architect that fits your style and has the capabilities to make your vision a reality is crucial. Before you start talking face-to-face with architects, you may be interested in; it’s invaluable to first check out their portfolio and credentials. Seeing as it’s the year 2023, a vast majority of architectural firms will have a website containing their past work. Peruse through their portfolio to get a taste of the firm, and see if their work fits your vibe. While on their website, you should also be able to get a sense of the level of expertise at the given firm, many of which will have sections dedicated to employees and their experience in the industry. Once you have selected a few firms that interest you, the next step is interviews. During interviews, you and the architect will be able to discuss the project further and, ultimately, if you will be working together.
Establishing Effective Communication
One of the most important ways to ensure all parties involved are happy is by establishing effective communication. Before any work even begins, both parties need to decide what form of communication works best for everyone. Since you or your architect might not be available for in-person meetings 100% of the time, it would be very beneficial to use the various virtual meeting platforms to handle business. Be sure to schedule meetings weekly, at the very least, regardless of what form of communication you and the architect decide on.
Setting Design Goals and Objectives
Setting your design goals is paramount to obtaining the finished product you want. Let your architect know every detail that matters to you, and set up a priority list for your goals. Your priority list will be used to ensure their focus is on what matters to you and doesn’t allow resource allocation to become a detriment. To make sure all parts of your project stay consistent, be sure to set a design theme and let your architect know. They will be able to let you know of any problems they might think of in regard to it, but more importantly, the project will be consistent throughout.
Reviewing Preliminary Design Concepts
This is an exciting point in the project timeline, as you will finally be able to see the beginnings of your building project. To make sure your architect’s imagining of your vision is accurate, make a note to carefully review these design concepts and let them know of any constructive feedback you may have. The design concepts will come in the form of sketches, floor plans, and also high polygon 3D models. This is the most important time to give feedback to your architect, as this really sets the stage for the entire project. Therefore it is imperative to be precise and calculated about your feedback on the design concepts. Be sure to listen to what your architect has to say as well, as an open dialogue between both parties will ensure a smooth operation void of any setbacks. As was previously stated in the last paragraph, continue to keep communication a foremost priority.
Navigating the Design Review Process
Not every city is going to have the same building regulations and guidelines, so reviewing your local building regulations is a must. In Sacramento, you will benefit greatly from researching the city’s zoning regulations, building codes, and also site plan and design review (SPDR) requirements. In doing this, you will get a headstart on any potential problems you could face, and it will also save time when talking to your architect since they won’t have to explain it to you. During the site plan and design review process, you may be told to change certain aspects of the construction. The purpose of the SPDR process is to ensure an attractive site and building design, compatibility with the surrounding development, consistency with the standards of the development code, and also consistency with the principles of applicable design guidelines. Your architect will be an invaluable asset for dealing with the design review process. They will be able to aid you in code and regulation education but also in preparing the various documents required for the process.
Finalizing Your Design
Almost done with the design process, the last step is finalization. After your design has been reviewed by all required parties and has been approved, all that’s left is to review specifications and construction paperwork. You, along with the help of your architect, will need to make sure the construction documents are still in line with your vision. To prevent unnecessary hiccups, it would be extremely beneficial to check that you have all the needed permits, something that your architect will be extremely helpful with.
Selecting A Contractor
Selecting a contractor for your building project doesn’t have to be a stressful experience. Depending on the architecture firm you choose, they may even handle all contractor business themselves. If your firm doesn’t offer that, I will be going over the steps needed to select a contractor for your project. Similar to looking for an architect, finding a contractor requires research. Check the local area for companies that have handled projects similar to yours. You’ll also want to find out their qualifications and ask for professional references to determine if the company is right for you. Interviews will also greatly benefit the selection process, allowing you to ask about the estimated timeline, along with discussing how they might handle certain problems that arise. Finally, you’ll want to make sure your architect and construction contractor are on the same page and both understand the vision of the project.
Monitoring the Construction Process
During the construction process, site reviews and inspections should be a regular part of your schedule. Doing so allows you to make sure your design is coming along the way you imagined and everything is going according to plan. Site reviews and inspections will also shed light on anything not to your liking and helps to prevent backtracking later on down the line. Again, keep good communication going between yourself, the architect, and the contractors so that any issues can be handled swiftly.
Evaluating the Completed Design
After construction on your building has wrapped up, it’s time for the final walk-through. You, your architect, and your contractor will take a walk around to ensure that the building is up to your standard or discuss any potential grievances with the building. Certain exterior aspects you should pay close attention to are drains, gutters, lighting, and landscaping. Inside you should make a note of outlets, fixtures, HVAC, and appliances, to name a few. If any issues arise, be sure to maintain the same effective communication and correspondence with all parties. Once everything is up to your liking and you’ve performed your final walk-through, you can finally say your building project is complete. After all that hard work, it’s time to celebrate and bathe in the satisfaction of a job well done.
Frequently Asked Questions
To make things easier, we have compiled a list of commonly asked questions we get asked all the time. Please take a look, and if you still have more questions, feel free to reach out to us through our contact form.
How do I search for a good architect in Sacramento?
Once you have your specific project in mind, search around for architects that specialize or have experience in similar projects. Use the internet to look up previous projects from architects, or scan through their portfolios. Ask around on local forums, such as Facebook.
What questions are most important during the interview process?
The interview process is your time to ask about their previous work, education, and what design they specialize in. It’s also important to ask about the proposed timeline and budget of the project and if they are currently working on a project.
What role does the architect play during the construction process?
During the construction process, your architect will conduct site surveys, making sure the design philosophy is being followed and addressing issues that may come up.
Ensuring your architect delivers the perfect design is time-consuming but, in the end, totally worth it. Achieving this requires everyone involved to fully understand the project and its end goal, maintain communication throughout the duration of the project, keep expectations realistic, and promote collaboration for all involved parties. Following these steps will guarantee your Sacramento architect delivers the perfect design.