8 Questions To Ask An Architectural Designer About The Drawings & Plans For A New House Extension

Posted by Tim Foster on Feb 2, 2017 4:50:00 PM

8 Questions To Ask An Architectural Designer About The Drawings & Plans For A New House Extension.png
Deciding to add a home extension can be an exciting venture but it can be equally as nerve-wracking for many home owners. Although you won’t be moving house, you’ll be adding a permanent addition to your home that can affect its aesthetic appeal and your quality of life. While working with an architectural designer it is essential that you compile a list of questions so you are informed of what’s involved with the project. Some businesses, such as BDS, combine both architectural design and construction services under the same roof. By taking a holistic view of your extension you can be assured of accountability and reliable timescales at every stage.

1) Have You Worked With A Project Of This Size In The Past?

Architectural designers usually have a good level of experience working with projects of all sizes, ranging from residential to commercial transformations. It’s important that you choose a professional who has years of experience dealing with home extension projects that are not only larger than yours, but smaller as well.

The more experience they have, the easier the design process will be as they will have direct insight into what additions would work perfectly in your space. Experience with domestic house extensions is invaluable as you can rest assured that they can handle teams of contractors as well as a project manager to oversee the task. Also, experience with smaller projects helps to make sure your architectural designer will pay attention to all of the fine details to give you the home extension of your dreams.

2) Do You Have A Portfolio That You Can Share With Me, Along With Client References?

Before you sign your name to any contract it’s important that you have an idea of the quality of work you’ll see after the project is finished. Not only is it important to review a portfolio of past jobs, but you’ll also want a list of client references that you can contact at your leisure. It’s easy for an architect to stage their portfolio photos to appear seamless and perfect, but living with the updates over time might show the true quality of their workmanship.

If your chosen architect does not have a portfolio or client references it may be a clear sign to continue the search for a reliable professional. (Incidentally, you can see ours on our website, both Residential and Commercial).

3) Who Will I Be Working With On A Regular Basis During The Project?

Regardless of how you look at it, over the course of your project there will be a large team of contractors, designers, and project managers in charge of your property, and it’s important that you know who you can contact about every aspect of the job. As an example, you’ll want to think about who you can call to get updates on when the project will be finished, or who you can contact if you have any questions about the job.

In most cases, it’s preferable for home owners to have a single liaison that will be in constant contact throughout the entire job, whether it’s your architectural designer or their chosen project manager. Ensure that you get the contact name and information for your main contact.

4) What Challenges Do You Foresee?

There isn’t a single project in the world that is completed seamlessly, and if your chosen designer tells you that there aren’t any challenges they may face, it could be a sign of inexperience. You’ll want to work with a team that are honest with you from the beginning, particularly when drawing the designs for your new space. Whether they’re concerned about adding a kitchen island due to space restrictions or if they’re concerned about the configuration of walls in a certain room, there will inevitably be challenges. A sign of quality is not a designer who denies these challenges, but someone who faces them head on and applies creative solutions.

5) What Is Included With The Quote?

When you’re working with a combined architectural designer and construction provider on your home extension, one of the first things you should ask for is a quote that outlines all the aspects of the project. It’s important to remember that although you receive an estimate from some providers, it may not be final as unforeseeable challenges can lead to a more expensive job. Work through the quote with your architectural designer and come up with a bottom line that gives you enough breathing room to account for any changes or issues.

6) What Steps Are Included In The Design Process?

Depending on how technologically advanced your architectural designer is, you will want to ask what’s included with the design process. Will the drawings be electronic? Will they be presented as a PDF format that you can easily view? Will you only have a detailed blueprint of what the space will look like? Above all, it’s important that you have a clear visual impression of your new home extension so you can make suggestions and improvements to help build the extension of your dreams.

7) Are There Any Improvements The Plan Could Have?

The main job of your architectural designer is to ensure all of your requirements are covered during the drawing process, but it’s equally important to ensure that the blueprints are sustainable and realistic. You might have an idea of what would look good, but a professional might have a different idea. It’s important to work with your architectural designer to create a design that’s sustainable over a long period and that you will be proud to live in.

8) Are The Drawings Subject To Change Over Time?

Nothing is final in the world of renovations and in the event that it’s likely the original drawings will change based on various factors, you’ll want to know beforehand so you can devise several different plans to account for any issues. Depending on the size and complexity of the job, the original drawings may be able to be executed with minimal issues, though there could be unforeseeable changes that need to be made. At this point, your architectural designer will plan a meeting to discuss the changes and gather your input on what you would like to see in the space instead of what was originally included.

House Extensions Without Tears

When building a house extension, your BDS architectural designer will be your best friend during the entire project. From ensuring that a comprehensive design is developed during the early stages to giving you a space that adds to the aesthetic of your home, you can rely on our professional advice and experience. If you are contemplating a house extension but haven’t yet made up your mind, please download our Essential Guide To Extending Your Living Space. Our new eBook explains the pros and cons of house extensions and moving home, so you can make an informed decision based on your needs. Click here to access your copy.

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Topics: Architectural Designer

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