Communicating with Your Architect

When it comes to designing your dream, communication is the key element. For someone not involved in the architecture profession, that can certainly feel overwhelming. After all, aren’t architects the experts who should be guiding you? The short answer is, “No.” Architects, like the ones at Vanman Architects and Builders, want to design YOUR building, within YOUR budget. Letting them know exactly what you expect and when is the only way that fair compromises can be made.

In communicating with your architect, be aware that each phase of the plan is supposed to paint a clearer picture. You mustn’t expect a complete conceptual framework for your building in the first sketch. Once you’ve seen the sketch, ask yourself if you understand what you’re looking at. If you have questions, ask. Any architect worth their salt will be willing to explain their sketches and walk you through their understanding of your ideas.

Another tip for communicating with your architect is to show them images of what you like. Looking for the roof of one building and the windows of another? It’s helpful to bring pictures that show exactly what you like, so that you and your architect can start making decisions on whether or not those elements can possibly fit together. While true that your architect is the expert in designing and building your building, you are the person who needs to be satisfied at the end of the day. You can experience that by sharing exactly what you want and being willing to compromise within your budget and physical possibility.

Our final tip is to make sure that you understand and agree to every decision that is made. The design-build process is recursive, meaning that you’ll circle back to things that you thought were finalized multiple times before everything aligns properly. Keep documentation, in the form of notes or lists, that help you keep up with exactly what the decisions are.