When working with an architect to create a new home, you’ll have a lot of input — to be expected, considering you’re the one who will eventually live in the home. But even though your satisfaction is your architect’s first priority, there still may be times that your architect tells you no. Years of education and experience means your architect knows what is and isn’t possible; if your architect says something can’t or shouldn’t be done, there’s probably a good reason why. Here are some of the biggest.
1. You’ll blow your budget
Any good architect asks for your budget during your first meeting. This gives them an idea of how much to “spend” per square foot, which affects exterior options, woodwork and architectural features. You might be dying for a tray ceiling, but if you’ve already blown your budget with pricey stone siding, don’t be surprised if your architect tells you no. From there, it’s up to you to decide if you want to change your budget or make trade-offs.
2. It doesn’t follow city code
Cities have strict codes that limit what can and cannot be built within city limits. City codes often restrict square footage, exterior finishes and features like stairs and railings. When your dream home doesn’t fit city code, your architect’s hands are tied. In order to build your dream home without ending up on the city’s naughty list, consult with your architect for alternative solutions.
3. You’ve chosen the wrong building materials
The internet is great for gathering up design inspiration, but it’s not always clear why a builder or homeowner made a certain design choice. In some cases, builders choose materials to protect against a specific climate — materials that may or may not be necessary in your location. Choosing the wrong materials based on Pinterest inspiration could not only be costly to you, but also unsustainable for your home. Trust your architect to choose materials that will last where you live.
4. It’s outside of your contract
Many builders have in-house architects that are hyper-familiar with what the builder has to offer. Understanding your contract means a smoother process, but it also means your architect knows when you’ve gone beyond what your contract offers. Asking for extensive layout changes and design upgrades without first upgrading your contract could have your architect shaking their head. Make sure you’re clear on what is and isn’t included in your design contract before you meet with your architect.
5. There’s a better way
There’s a reason you hired a qualified architect to design your home. Reap the benefits of experience and education by letting the architect suggest solutions for your home. Sometimes, an architect tells you no simply because there’s an easier, faster, more cost-effective or more efficient way to build what you want.
While you’ll definitely have the lion’s share of input for the design of your home, let your architect listen to your wish list and understand your lifestyle. Then, step back and watch the architectural magic happen. More often than not, your architect will be able to come up with a few surprises you didn’t even know you wanted. Trust them, and you’ll get a better product in the end.
Have you worked with an architect in the past? What was your experience like? Tell us about it in the comments.