Architect tool, journal and table

Working with Your Architect: What to Expect

As the age-old saying states, “your home is your castle,” so designing it to fit your lifestyle is essential. Your home should provide a functional, comfortable environment that accommodates your daily needs and reflects your personal style. Whether you’re building a new home or altering your existing home’s footprint, your architect/designer and builder can all help you create the home of your dreams.

The Design/Build Process

The design-build process will go through several different phases. Depending on the size and complexity of your project, the entire process could take several months or several years. Building a strong relationship with your design-build team through trust and communication is key to a design-build process to ensure that the lifecycle of the project runs smoothly and efficiently.

The Planning Phase

During the planning phase, communicating your thoughts and ideas for your home is important. It’s imperative to discuss your lifestyle, as well as your functional needs and aesthetic preferences. With detailed information, your architect can develop more functional spaces with design features and materials that accommodate your specific needs. Since architectural style and important design elements are usually decided during the planning phase, it’s important to keep communication open and honest. Here are some helpful tips:

  • Make a list of functional requirements and design features you absolutely need
  • Make a list of design features you like or want
  • Note any existing problems that you need or want to solve
  • Consider short-term and long-term design goals
  • Establish a realistic project budget
  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions

During the planning phase, you’ll want to discuss and clarify the scope of work and the budget for your project. Your architect/designer and builder team will provide a written agreement or contract that outline services to be provided and client/design-build team obligations.

The Design Phase

After discussing initial plans and design ideas, your architect will draft a set of plans or sketches to bring the project’s vision to life. The design phase may also include selecting specific design features and materials for your home. You’ll want to review and discuss all plans, sketches, materials and costs to make sure you understand and agree with everything before moving forward. If changes need to be made, it’s best to make them during this phase before any building or remodeling begins. Once all plans and designs are agreed upon, final architectural drawings will be done, necessary building permits will be issued, and the construction phase will begin.

The Construction Phase

Whether you’re doing a simple room addition or building a new house, the construction phase can be complicated and exhausting, especially if you’re still living in the house. You may experience a variety of subcontractors like electricians, plumbers, roofers, painters, cabinetmakers and flooring installers in your home. Although the atmosphere may seem chaotic, your design-build team will oversee the work, carry out inspections, monitor progress and guide you through the construction phase. Trust the professional knowledge, experience and insight of your team to create a beautiful home.

If you enjoyed this blog you may want to read our blog about, “What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Design-Build Team.”

Smith Brothers is a unique team of construction craftsmen, architects, and interior designers. Since 1978, we stress the absolute highest levels of quality, performance, value and service in each and every project. Our award-winning design ideas, expertise, and collective experience allow us to provide the very best in what we do. For more information please contact us at 877-230-0333, (+01) 858-350-1445, or


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