• Michael Bukowski

4 questions to ask an architect before commencement of your home design process

When you are planning to build, redesign or remodel your property it is crucial to meet an architect as decisions made at the early stage will determine whether the development will meet your needs and expectations. Determining your goals at the early planning stage will help the architect to deliver a one-off, unique project that is functional and comfortable for its future occupiers.

How to prepare Design Brief?

You should first try to determine your requirements and in consequence a typology of building that would best serve you and other home occupiers, type, size, number of rooms and storeys. Decide on the style of the development and your aesthetic preferences, what you like and what is not an option in your design. A research in the social media apps that allow users to share photos, captions of architecture and interiors may be extremely useful when looking for your inspirations and ideas.

Saving a few pins and snippets on Instagram or Pinterest will give you and your designer a better idea of what should the design look like.

Atelier 41 Architects have created for our clients several boards and pins on Pinterest which can be found in the link below:

Whilst the above aspects can be easily identified by every private or domestic client it is understandable you may not have a vast experience in making the final decision on the design brief and that is why an architect’s help at this stage is vital. He will be able to strategically appraise and define project objectives, develop the brief further in accordance with professional knowledge, industry standards and experience to enable the development of the concept design.

At this stage establishing the budget for the planned development would be essential..

What internal layout is most beneficial?

Having known your needs and requirements the Architect will be able to adjust the project to provide best “fit for purpose” design. In Atelier 41 Architects we believe that every project should represent a one -off, unique and attractive design that provides its occupiers ease of use, peace of mind, comfort and guaranties long life span of building and low maintenance “Oasis”. Whether you need a home office, to create open plan living-dining- kitchen area or prepare the layout for the elderly or disabled person’s use, architects know all the commonly used standards and implement the best design solutions to cater for all your needs. We can advise on the best building orientation, daylight and artificial lighting requirements, impact and airborne soundproofing and the most economic and ergonomic room layouts.

What construction method is best for you?

The most common construction methods in the UK are as follows:

I) Traditional Masonry Wall Construction

- cavity walls fully or partially filled with insulation

- solid walls insulated externally (EWI) or internally (IWI)

II) Traditional Timber Frame Construction

- with timber, metal or stone cladding

- with facing brick

- rendered with ply or cementitious sheeting

III) Steel Frame Construction

- with timber, metal or stone cladding

- with facing brick

IV) Cast In -Situ Concrete Frame Construction commonly with pre-cast hollow core or beam and block concrete floors

- with timber, metal or stone cladding

- with facing brick

- rendered with ply or cementitious sheeting

Each of the above construction methods have its pros and cons and many can be mixed together but planning your development, you should think what key criteria are important to you – is it sustainability, quality, added value, construction cost or a time scale. Architect should be aware of your objectives before suggesting the construction method as this may hugely impact on your quality of living and efficiency of the design.

Can you stay at the property or do you need to move out before the works start?

In most cases the client will have to move out and rent a temporary accommodation as it is the best possible option to minimize inconveniences and speed up the works. In some instances, a skilled architect and contractor can help to organize the works in a way that the occupiers can stay at the property in a separated part of the property not affected by works provided the safety of the occupiers and contractor’s employees is not compromised.

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