Interior Design: From your minds-eye to reality Pt.2, 3 critical steps to Building a Home

Jan 18, 2011

You’ve been thinking about building a custom home for a while now but you’ve finally decided to make your dream a reality. You have been gathering design ideas and inspiration and you have them tucked away ready for when you need them. Building your custom home will be one of the biggest investments you make in yourself and your future. Avoid making basic mistakes and start with these 3 critical steps to building a home:

  1. Create a Budget
  2. Pick Your Team
  3. Choose Your Location (see next weeks blog)

Building is not for the faint of heart.  It is costly, time consuming, emotional and can have its frustrating moments. BUT when you can see the vision you created with your team, being erected from wood, stone, and metal, there is no greater high.  It is for this reason that you need to assemble a great team consisting of an architect, builder and interior designer. While it might sound cliche, your team of professionals are your support system, without a good team, building your home will be more difficult.

I will briefly outline what each team member brings to the table and when each should be brought into the process.

ARCHITECT:  Architecture is a complex and detailed profession that clearly can’t be completely described in just a few words however, I will try for this article. Architects are responsible for working with structural engineers to provide detailed construction drawings of a building that is structurally to code; one that meets the needs and style of the intended user. Some architects like to be involved in the selection of interior finishes while others leave this to the home owner and the interior designer.  While some architects prefer to be involved up and until construction is complete and your house has received the certificate of occupancy from the local building department,  others are complete once the plans are handed to the general contractor to start construction.

BUILDER: You will need to hire a general contractor to build your home, unless you choose to be your own, which is not advisable. They are responsible for the coordination of subcontractors and the day-to-day oversight of construction.  Their job typically starts at the permit submission phase and is complete once the house has received the certificate of occupancy from the local building department.

INTERIOR DESIGNER:  Also a complex and detailed profession sometimes mistaken for being the decoration portion of a home, which is just a small portion of what a professional interior designer handles during home construction. Professional designers can be responsible for working with builders and architect to provide detailed drawings for bath and kitchen tile layouts, cabinet design and other detailing of a home such as ceiling treatments. Some professional designers like to be intimately involved with interior architectural detailing to ensure the end result will work with the intended home furnishing style. While other professional interior designer prefer to perform architectural plan reviews and site walk-throughs for input that is implemented into drawings by the architectural team. Designers can start as early as working with the architect, before they start the drawing process, to discuss design ideas. Designers continue beyond the certificate of occupancy phase and move into space planning and furnishing the home; their job is complete when the last furnishings are placed.

Image borrowed from: 01