What to Look for…

What to Look for in a Designer or Architect

It’s important that you are comfortable with the person you choose to design your project. You will be working together for several months to design a renovation, addition, or new home that will be part of your life for many years to come. So how do you decide whom to work with? Here are a few things to look for and questions to ask as you make your selection:

Experience: Are they familiar with residential design, particularly with projects similar to your own?

Specialization: Do they do this kind of project as the focus of their business, or is most of their work on projects different from yours?

Education: Do they have formal education in design? Architectural training develops an awareness of issues such as circulation, views, natural light, balance, proportion, differentiation of spaces, and construction detailing. It also encourages consideration of multiple ways to solve a problem, sometimes in ways you hadn’t previously considered.

Staff: Some construction companies offer design as part of their services, and many of these companies are very professional in the construction services they provide. But design and construction are separate fields, and you’ll want to evaluate the qualifications for them independently. Does the company have a design professional on staff? Is their background and training primarily in design or construction? How much experience does that individual have?

Listening: Are they paying attention to what you say? Asking good questions? Taking notes? Your designer needs to be able to listen carefully, so they understand your family’s needs before they start to design.

Imagination: A good designer envisions more than a space when they look at a room; they see all of the things your family will do there. Breakfast on sunny mornings, homework after school, evenings with a glass of wine. Thinking about these daily activities leads to a design that considers your lifestyle and creates a space that is both beautiful and enjoyable to live in.

Communication: From phone calls to emails to drawings, communication is critical to getting a design you will be happy with. A CAD program that provides a three dimensional model of your design can be an especially helpful tool for your designer to communicate possible designs to you. When you can see what your project will look like, your designer can make sure it’s the solution you want before it’s built.

Would you like to discuss New Leaf Home Design’s qualifications for your project? Contact me at hallie@newleafhomedesign.com or by calling 330.329.6901.