Architectural Design

Taking your mind's image of your custom dream home and turning it into reality is what we do best. We can create a design that is beautiful and functional. All this while staying in your desired budget and timeline. Watch the video below to learn more!

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How to Hire the Right Architect or Designer

In this video, I show you how to hire the right architect or designer for your custom home. I reveal three mistakes most homeowners make when interviewing and hiring an architect or designer. 

Architect Hiring Mistake #1
The first mistake is when homeowners allow their architect to design their home according to their wish list. That’s right, the biggest mistake you can make is to allow your architect to design the home according to your wish list because unless you have an open-ended budget, your wish list will always outpace your budget expectations. That’s just a fact of life. So, the only way for your wish list and budget expectations to align is to create an on-budget strategy before design begins and before you sign an agreement with any architect or designer. 

However, if any architect tells you the “bid process” will do the trick, run away! The “bid process” will never meet your expectations because the designs are already over budget. The bid process won’t change that reality. And just like I said in the Builder Video, inviting architects and designers to participate in creating your on-budget pathway is the best interview strategy you can use to find the right design relationship. 

Architect Hiring Mistake #2
The second mistake is when homeowners sign an architect’s design agreement whose fee is based on a percentage of the construction cost – usually 10% to 12%. And yes, this actually happens a lot more than you might think. Most high-end architects and designers charge this way. And as you can imagine, this creates a massive incentive for an architect or designer to make your home design cost as much as possible — because their fee goes up accordingly. So, part of our Dream Home Workshop is to show you what kind of design agreements will achieve an on-budget design outcome. I’ll show you how to use a Milestone-based fee structure to incentivize your architect or designer to design a wonderful home that can actually align with your budget expectations.

Architect Hiring Mistake #3
The third mistake is when homeowners hire an architect or designer who does not provide 3D services. Yes, 3D design services cost more than 2D design services, but I guarantee you that 3D design services will save you so much more than it costs. In the video, I show you two real examples of how my 3D design services saved the day for my clients. In one project, I reviewed the 2D designs with my client, Nancy, on multiple occasions — during schematic design reviews and during construction document reviews. But since these were 2D drawings, Nancy didn’t realize the firebox was smaller than her expectations. However, I had convinced Nancy and her husband, Bill, to include my 3D services in their design agreement. In the video, I show the first view of the Rec Room fireplace. Nancy immediately said, “Oh no, Mark. I want a much larger firebox and surround. We want it to be impressive.” I said, no problem. I then submitted an updated 3D view for her review the next day, and it was perfect. Now, how would this have played out for Nancy and Bill without my 3D services? Well, they would have discovered the disappointingly small firebox after the fireplace had been built. And to change it at this point would have cost at least $20,000 or more! But they most likely would not have replaced the smaller firebox and would have been disappointed with it forever. Yet due to my 3D services, it wasn’t an issue at all. 

This next story is not so wonderful. Years ago, a client came to me with a home designed by another architect to have it 3D modeled at the photo-realistic level my team can do. It was a lovely home design on a costly mountain property with spectacular views. However, their heart sank when the 3D images were presented to the homeowner. They saw the terrace level sitting on 15-to-20-foot sub-walls above the grade below. They expected the home to have a walk-out level yard from the rear terrace level. It turns out that the architect they hired- someone who was supposed to have a good reputation- only designed the house to the paper on which it was printed. In other words, they never coordinated the house with the site plan and topography during the design process. Furthermore, they had not adjusted the construction documents to show the enormous distance from the terrace level to the grade level. 

That’s what 3D design services do if they include your actual site conditions. They can show everything precisely as it will be built. I always have my 3D team incorporate the homeowner’s topographical survey into the 3D model to show the full reality of their designs. But I certainly don’t wait until 3D to do that, either, like this last story. I always incorporate the property conditions in the first phase of plan designs. This way, there are no misunderstandings among my clients. My 3D services allow them to fully understand their home designs and adjust according to their expectations. 

The reality is that it’s very difficult for architects or designers to extract every expectation homeowners will have for their home designs. That’s why I created the Milestone design process because it’s intentionally set up to ensure the homeowner and I have every chance to discover every expectation along the way. Therefore, 3D design services offer the most clarity possible because they show the home as if it were already built before construction begins. 

My 3D team can show you your home design in a photo-realistic view of your property, showing the topography, driveway, pool, and landscaping. The same goes for the interiors. We show you all the colors, materials, and features you and your interior designer have selected. And if you want to consider different colors and materials, we change them and show them to you immediately. It’s that powerful.

Our goal is to help you design and build a beautiful custom home, harnessing the right design agreement and process to ensure no surprises due to missed expectations. So, if you want your dream home designed and built on time, on budget, and with no costly surprises, then let’s jump on a call by clicking on the SCHEDULE CALL button below so we can get started. My team and I would be honored to help bring your dream home to reality.

I look forward to speaking with you real soon. 
Thank you!

Additional Services

Check out our other services to help you achieve your Dream Home goals
Guide & Workshop
Step-by-step resource and process to achieve your custom home on time and on budget.
Property Selection
Let us help you choose the right property for your custom dream home.
Builder Selection
Comparing builders, costs, plans and more. Helping you make the best builder choice.
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