Choosing a Home Designer
Choosing a designer for your home may be as important as the builder you choose. The services provided by home designers and their potential team of consultants can be quite diverse. In the residential construction industry, most prospective home buyers contact a builder before choosing a designer. As design-build continues to become more popular, there are still several options for design. Please understand that the following comments are generalizations not intended to influence your decision or discriminate against any of the design professionals.
Many of the homes we've built have been designed in-house. We have been deeply involved in the design process of many more, but this does not necessarily mean that we are the solution for every home we build. Some projects are more inspiring, while others more challenging. Sometimes we have time to spend on design and other times it's best to have someone else pick up the slack. The ability to build a home on paper before construction begins, provides tremendous value and efficiency to the process and cost of construction.
For the purpose of comparison, a drafting service is likely the least expensive and least qualified option. Apologies to any professionals that take offense. We've had some good experiences when we were able to be involved and make sure we received competent documentation. However, we have had some difficulty when we have received plans from a service that were drafted without the input of a builder or knowledgeable owner.
We have used the services of residential designers successfully numerous times and can confidently recommend a few. Additionally, we also have our own separate design business, Kg3dHome.com. Of course we recommend this option, but it also allows you to benefit from our construction expertise even if you have another builder. Look for active membership in the American Institute of Building Designers (AIBD) and of course experience in the type of construction and styles that you prefer.
Please note that we specifically indicated "residential" architect. Having a degree and license is by no means proof that any architect is qualified to design a home. Many architects are fluent with commercial construction and not familiar with the differences of a residential project. We encourage you to be aware of discussing budgets with an architect and ask how many of their projects don't ever get built.
Many projects have the need for additional designers and consultants including, interior designer, landscape architect, civil engineer, lighting designer, green certifying agent and audio-video consultant. It's cost effective and saves time if arrangements for additional services are included into the project as early as possible.