Questions to Ask Yourself and Your Architect

Home plans being designed

Building a custom home is meant to be an exciting adventure. It is a personal and detailed process that requires working with an architect you trust and who understands the importance of bringing your vision to life. We’ve laid out essential questions to consider asking to ensure that your custom home design exceeds your expectations.

Interior of a modern elegant home

Understanding Your Needs and Preferences

What is your lifestyle, and how does your home need to complement it? Your home as not just a place to live but a reflection of your lifestyle, entertainment style, and family dynamics. It’s also the central hub for everything you do. Like a custom playroom that can grow with your child into their teenage years or the home office that can support your work and passions. Before you begin the journey of designing your custom home, you’ll want to explore the full potential of what home looks and feels like for you, so your architect can fit as many of those details in the final home design. Here are some thoughts to consider.

Laptop with a home design on it

What architectural style resonates with you?

When you begin looking for a home-style, remember that there are many different architectural designs to choose from. So be sure to explore the ones that appeal the most to you and your lifestyle and provide examples to your architect. Your architect should be able to help align your aesthetic preferences with your desired design. If you are unsure of the different architectural styles, here’s a great article to read. Home Architectural Styles Explained. It’s all you need to know.

Couple standing on back patio looking into the backyard

Are you planning for the future?

Another factor to consider is what is your goal with this home. Are you planning to build a home to raise your kids in, preparing for an empty nest, or is this a home you intend to resell? These are all essential details to discuss with your architect to ensure your home is designed to satisfy your goals and way of life.

Piggy bank and architectural plans

What is your budget?

Let’s talk about your budget! Our goal is to ensure that we are providing you with the best quality without compromising your budget. Together, we can make informed decisions about the complexity of your home design, and the materials and finishes a builder might choose to use in the building process. 

collaborating with an architect

Collaborating with Your Architect

What is your design process?

Understanding how your architect handles projects will provide insight into how they will handle your custom design. It’s essential to know that their communication style and workflow align with your needs before you agree to work with them. At Design NW our process and use of the latest technology ensures that our clients feel supported in every decision along the way and have fun with the magic of it all, too!

Zoning laws

How do you handle zoning laws and building codes?

Location is everything! We understand that you have a vision for your home but, we also want to make sure that once we are finished with your design, we don’t hang the process up due to technicalities. Part of our process is to work with your builder to ensure the ideas we are exploring will pass permitting and local requirements.

Virtual tour of home

What is your experience with 3D virtual home plans?

3D virtual home tours have changed the way we’re able to not only design but visualize how our homes will look. It doesn’t matter if you are remodeling or designing a new home, ability to see your home in 3D makes all the difference. If you’re fortunate to work with an architect who provides a 3D virtual home design experience, you’ll have a tangible way to explore and modify your design before construction even begins. You can learn more about how we use 3D virtual designs in our process.

Working on architectural plans

What challenges do you anticipate for my project?

We prepare our clients as best we can for potential hurdles. As mentioned earlier, we do our best to identify right away whether site limitations or budget constraints are an issue so that we can strategize possible outcomes in advance. You should expect the same from any experienced architect.

Couple walking inside of home being built

Reflecting and moving forward

Building a custom home is a significant investment of time, emotion, and resources. Your architect should act as a guide, transforming your vision into reality while helping you get a clear view of the construction process.

Remember, maintaining open communication, mutual respect, and a shared understanding of your vision with your architect sets the stage for creating a home that reflects every bit of you, now and in the future. We hope you find these questions helpful in starting a dialogue with your architect.

Design NW is an award-winning architect in Vancouver, WA. Over the past 30 years, we’ve designed thousands of homes for satisfied clients. If you’re looking for an architect to design a home for your needs and lifestyle, we’d love to hear from you.

Are you ready to embark on a custom home design journey together?

Design NW is an architectural firm in Vancouver, WA, specializing in the design of custom and remodeled home design for over 25 years. Our Virtual 3D-technology home plans allow our clients to see their homes come to life. Now you can see your home before it’s built.