Most people in America, and everywhere, desire their own home.This is not always easy, but there are some things to keep in mind when treading the waters of home design, building and ownership.
Hiring an architect is a good place to start. They will generally have the experience, and know-how, to turn your concept into a reality. Their skill sets can help you maximize the space in mind more efficiently, and come up with a layout to get all your preferred ideas in action.
Photo Courtesy of Wolf Architects
Consulting with some kind of architectural firm, also allows you more time to focus on more important areas of your project, like the types of furniture, textured decor, or what you want the kids’ bedrooms to look like when it's all said and done.
Firms will also handle the drawing of the construction plans and work out the logistics of shipping and coordinating with a complete network of suppliers and subcontractors. They’ll also prepare a timeline, and get you the best possible options and pricing. Take full advantage of the resources available to the public, from these architectural, engineering and design firms. They’ll be able to work within your budget, and find you a best case scenario for your situation.
Companies in this industry work with businesses, residents, and government bodies to plan the whole building from the time that the foundation is dug, up until the door keys are turned over to management or the owner. Look into their portfolios online, see reviews of how they conduct business, and do some research to find the best firm for your project. Publications like ‘Crains’, and other business journals publish “top-100” lists of architects’ financial information, so you can see how they rank within the industry.
The heavy construction work and the meticulous amounts of paperwork, should be handled by the professionals as well. There are several stages to a project, with routine inspections happening before and after each phase:
1. Foundation - This is the huge ditch you’ll see dug with lots of guys in hard hats, standing around doing nothing. They’ll eventually get to the septic systems, and the underground framework.
2. Structural shell or skeleton - The “backbone” of the house.
3. Plumbing, electrical, HVAC (infrastructure) - This is where all your hard wiring, water pipes, and AC/heating/ductwork comes into play. A-1 Refrigeration is a good option for the latter.
4. Insulation - Watch out for the asbestos.
5. Drywall/Interior finishes - Make sure it’s sturdy enough so you don’t trip and fall through a wall.
6. Hard-surface flooring and countertops - Pretty much livable, at this point...
7. Exterior finishes (siding/brick, etc) - Now, it’s starting to look like it belongs in the neighborhood.
8. Light fixtures, outlet installations, mechanical trims, and bathroom fixtures - France and Son’s mid-century modern designs look very chic.
9. Interior flooring - Wood, Linoleum, or Marble? Better, yet..transparent floors over water?
10. Carry your significant other across the threshold - Two hands!
11. Final Mortgage payment, 30 years later…