Recipe for a Great Home

The best houses and cottages result from a happy union: the architect and the builder working together. The two parties have different and complimentary skill sets. A good contractor commands an army of good tradespeople, all of whom understand their portion of the renovation or custom home, enjoy each other’s contribution to it, and who count on the builder to manage the “big picture” of the work, choreographing the various trades at the right point in the schedule. A seasoned house architect knows what to look for on the job site, commands a deep understanding of building science, has a keen eye for the placement of items, and, at the end of the day, knows how the completed house or cottage should look.

Missing ingredient: skip the Architect!

Most builders will tell you, though, that you don’t need an architect for a renovation or new house. Their lives would be much easier without an architect watching how they build or how they charge. And the architect’s design drawings – so complicated! Ignoring the point that the plans represent a careful and proportionate synthesis of many hours of client discussions, the builder promises to make things much easier. In fact, if the builder were able to simply copy-and-paste from his last few jobs, the client could save a lot of money. The client could use the builder’s own in-house “design service” to get the drawings out – fast! In fact, the builder could make a very handsome profit this way, indeed.

Avoiding a cookie-cutter solution

But good design is not a simple formula, and is certainly not based on repetition. Neither home renovations nor new homes arise out of cookie-cutter solutions. Architects have a depth of design ability stemming from years of study, professional licensing and training. They are skilled listeners, and can visualize their clients’ needs more efficiently than any builder. That efficiency saves money, added to which architects bring such economies as calling for competitive bidding on projects; reviewing the builder’s pay requests; evaluating the cost implications of changes and additional work; and holding the builder to the construction schedule.

A collaborative effort builds the best home

To be clear, the builder is the professional who knows how to build, but not necessarily how to design. The designer, an experienced architect, has taken years to master the art of blending beauty with function, and who relies on the skill set of a seasoned contractor to bring the project to life. For any renovation or new construction, that’s a good recipe for success.

Write us with your ideas!