Architecture is an art in itself, and as it is the case with any other form of art, not everyone can perform it to perfection. Getting someone to do their part in helping you realizing your structural dream in its concrete form goes a long way in getting the best out of your efforts. Many people however overlook the importance of involving architects and designers in their building plans yet these are some of the part takers who play a vital role in making this real.
It’s not that first-hand experience is the only way to apprehend a building, nor that it’s somehow metaphysically “true” or approaches some “essence” of what architecture is about. It’s easy to fetishize unmediated experience, and there is a powerful ideology in architecture which does just that. Abstractions and representations are just as important, and revealing, and rich, as the concrete experience of the thing.
Because architecture is, in the end, a performed art. Architects don’t produce buildings; they produce an elaborate set of instructions for someone else to make a building, to their design. An architect prepares a score or script in the form of drawings, which is then “performed” first by the builders, later by the people who live or work in the building, by all of those individuals who visit it, and by time itself.
The trends are currently changing at a blinding pace as time is elapsing fast, and the construction industry is no exclusion in this contemporary state of revolution. These changes are calling for the importance of practitioners in the architect and design industry to keep up with what is current as the consumers expect a lot from them in delivering up to date models of their structures. Architects and designers have no choice but to go the extra mile in providing more professional and up to date services.
Consumers are far more aware of and educated about design today. There is a huge interest in architecture and interior design, brought about mainly by a buoyant housing market and the plethora of magazines and TV programs. This means that for designers to remain relevant, they must keep ahead of trends, products and design directions and provide consumers with solutions to complex problems.
There is more comprehensive training available for designers today and many are highly skilled, allowing them to work at different levels that previously. Designers must have a wealth of product knowledge and an understanding of relevant building codes and regulations, design, manufacturing, lifecycle analysis and supply chain knowledge. They need to understand about energy ratings, air quality, water usage, waste management and their environmental impact.
A sustainable interior does not need to look retro, up cycled or recycled; although there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you like.
Everyone has something that they are good at and that is what makes everyone stand out in their own special way. Architects and designers as well do their exclusive role play in bringing out the best out of your dream structure. Giving enough recognition to their role and allowing them take charge in their specialty is usually far reaching and goes beyond just contracting them for the job.
Architects are highly trained in building design, engineering, and ergonomics. At the outset of a remodeling project, an architect will examine your house, listen to your dreams and needs, and then provide solutions and approximate building costs. Most professionals are willing to negotiate fees on remodeling projects. They might agree to a flat fee for the design and blueprints, and a per-hour fee for site inspections and design changes after construction has begun.
If you can spot quality construction yourself, limit your design professional to the design and blueprint phases, typically for 5% to 10% of the total project cost. If you don’t know a beam from a stud, you’re wise to pay your architect to inspect ongoing construction, called site visits.
Site visits typically are included in your design professional’s contract: He, too, has a vested interest in making sure construction reflects his design. But you don’t need an architect to check each nail or screw, running up fees. A couple of site visits—after framing is completed and during punch-up—is all that’s necessary for a typical addition or remodel.