Custom Home Design Tips: Choosing the Right Designer
Whether or not you have already purchased a lot that your custom home plans must be designed around, following the tips we’ve gathered below will ensure that your custom home designs will produce the house of your dreams.
1. Establish excellent communication.
Poor communication can ruin a set of custom house plans. For instance, if your architect doesn’t really understand what you want in your custom home designs, you could end up with a custom built home that you don’t actually enjoy. Alternatively, you could be shocked to see your “custom” plan in a new housing development. (Some architects turn their best custom plans into generic, widely available floor plans.) Avoid both of these unsavory outcomes by clearly outlining what your custom home plans should include, and whether or not you’re comfortable with your custom design being tweaked into a universal house plan.
2. Choose a designer with experience working with similar properties.
If you’ve already purchased the land for your dream home, ensure that your designer has background in working with your type of property. For instance, while a steeply sloped lot often offers up the best views, it also poses unique design challenges.
3. Check that your architect has liability insurance.
Accidents do happen – that’s why insurance was invented. If something doesn’t come out right in your custom home design, liability insurance can cover rebuilding costs or other unanticipated expenses. Professional engineers and designers carry insurance to defend their customers against expensive errors. Make sure your custom home plans come from a designer with liability insurance.
4. Zoom in on the details.
A complete set of custom home plans will include enough information to facilitate construction. Contractors must be able to quickly find details on dimensions, materials, and building techniques. Unclear floor plans will bring all sorts of problems. Expensive errors often occur because contractors can’t read or find the necessary details on a set of custom home plans. The last thing you want is a carpenter or plumber making guesses as to what your custom home designs intend. Work with an architect that includes plenty of construction details on the home plans.
5. Ensure building code and state certification compliance.
Federal and local building legislation is always changing. If your custom home design doesn’t follow these building guidelines, city officials could reject it and you’ll face more expenses to bring your design “up to code.” Because this is such an important issue, be up-front about it with your designer. Ask about how they ensure code compliance, and check with previous customers to make sure the city approval process went off without a hitch. One final bit of due diligence: Check that your architect or designer is professionally certified with your state. If any red flags come up during this investigation, select a different architect. Otherwise, you could be stuck with home plans that can’t actually be built.
6. Select an architect whose style matches yours.
Doctors specialize in bodily systems; writers specialize in different types of communication; architects specialize in different design styles. Be sure that your designer has experience producing the type of home you prefer. For instance, if you like the Tudor style, you should choose a designer who has produced lovely custom houses in this design mode. Don’t expect a Frank Lloyd Wright lover to suddenly switch to a Tuscan approach.