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Take your time, do not rush into your decision making, it will cost more later to change your mind.
Prior to hiring an Architect, have them come to your home to discuss your renovation plans. Find out how the Architect works and discover how his process will make your visions a reality. Make sure you are comfortable with the architect and sense a trust that he will work hard to make your renovation successful.
Keep a mental or physical notebook documenting features you like around you, whether at a friend’s home, magazine or on the web. Be prepared to share this with the Architect so he understands your tastes and is able to reinterpret them into your project.
If you are a couple, make sure you and your spouse see eye to eye on the direction you want your renovation efforts to accomplish. Your Architect is not necessarily a mediator, but if needed he will help you in making a compromising suggestion to accommodate both ideas into a single solution .
If you do not understand something your Architect did as you anticipated ask “why?” Perhaps the idea stemmed from a structural issue, or maybe it was just a whimsical idea he had. The Architect wants your input and is happy to clarify any confusion.
Pin down your scope of work or have an understanding of your end goal.
Always keep a steady flow of communication between you and your architect to allow for a streamlined development of your renovation plans.
Always remember: this is your house to live in. Make decisions based on your tastes and lifestyles. The Architect will input his personal ideas or solutions, however, in the end it is important you make the decision that works best for you.
Renovation is tricky! Without a doubt when a general contractor goes to open a wall he may find something totally unexpected. Years of experience makes the Architect fit to make guesses as to what is hidden within your ceilings or walls. Regardless, the unknown nature of this process certainly leaves room for miscalculation, so it is important to be prepared for the possibility of surprise and an additional cost.
Alternative Living Location
If this is major renovation, you may be displaced during construction. Whether it’s because you will be without plumbing and heat or the dust and noise is unbearable or it is just too dangerous, plan on making alternative living arrangements during construction. This will make everyone’s life easier and safer!