[This is the Special Report 21 in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. Our
electronic products download immediately to your computer upon
if you don't use an architect, gain the advantage of their advice to
owner-builders and their experience on home design. One or two of them
provide a flash of genius that reminds us why owner-building is the
creative act of a lifetime. Eight pages, revised and updated with new reader tips, web links
and comments. Topics include:
- What architects expect from clients
- Costs and fee schedules
- When to get architect involved
- Architectural software
- How to find a good architect
- Architect vs. Designer
- How good design can save money
- Internet plans
- Architect attitudes about owner-builders
Excerpt from Report:
"...Q. What do you want the clients to have when they come in?
Their needs in writing, nothing drawn, no pictures out of magazines.
Verbal scope, their living style. Pictures tend to give you
A: Clear ideas of what they want. Ideally
a program would be helpful, but most depend on us to write the program
based on their needs.
A: Lots of money and stable marital
relationship. I contract with both of them in case they divorce. Some
idea of style of house, and technical information like a survey of the
site. We custom tailor to take advantage of the natural beauty of the
A: Sometimes they have a sketch. Others just want a
house designed, and I interview and start with a written program. What
they want the house and space to do. How they want to use it. That
becomes a drawing, a preliminary drawing. Add details until the final
preliminary drawing. Then into the construction documents, the details
for construction. On a larger house we might start with special
equipment or finishes, or treatments, then we do a written
specification. Then the construction drawings.
A: Any type of
photos or tear sheets of things they like, even clothing, styles,
colors, things they visually like. Bring in several things.
helps me understand what they like to be around. Any other professional
documentation of the property, plot maps, surveyor maps, history, old
blueprints if a remodel, technical drawings. Write down some things
that they might want to bring out for needs and desires for their
A: Idea of how big a house they want, though
they usually don't know. The rooms and room sizes they want, and a
budget. I can determine the size of the house. Know what quality you
want, builders type - spec type or custom with high end finishes. I can
figure out how much per square foot, and then figure the right size.
Lot size and orientation, the specifics of the property. I like to
customize it for the property. Relation to neighbors, views, etc..."
Sample Reader Tip Excerpts:
went through hundreds of designs to find something that we liked. I
tried to cut and paste, but it had to be redrawn to get the engineer's
seal. I think next time I would get an architect involved in the early
Jean & Bill H.
"Some of the
other books out there wind up telling you to go see a contractor after
you've got your plans. That's ironic, because using an architect or a
contractor are the two biggest things that add to your cost."
architect designed the house for $160,000 and the first bid from a
contractor came in for $190,000. The architect said he'd help line me
up with subs."