Now almost all private developers know that it is impossible to build a normal house without a project. And they know that projects are done by architects, who are turned to develop a project.
First of all an architect is a creative person and unfortunately, not everyone manages to build a systematic design process at home. In this article, we will tell you what to pay attention to the customer of architects in Lahore so that the process goes smoothly, and the customer is satisfied with the result. Moreover, the result, in this case, is not the project itself, but what kind of house it will receive as a result.
Initially, it may seem that if you find an architect ready to follow the customer’s fantasy and embody the ideas that come to him at night for six months – this is the search for that very dream house.
Usually, this leads to the fact that with each new version of the house, the customer is only more dissatisfied with it. When there is no clear plan of action, then you will not come to anything good. Therefore, during preliminary discussions, a competent architect finds out the needs of the client and draws up a technical task within the framework of which further work is going on.
The names of styles in modern suburban architecture and originality and other subjective concepts, are not accurate and can lead to misunderstanding in the process of interaction with the Architect. Some things cannot be described in words. One agreed technical specification for a good project is not enough, therefore, before starting work, you need to consider and discuss references (pictures of houses you like or individual details; this can be a photo from the Internet, trips or homes of friends) to make sure that the Architect and the customer are in a single value system.
An architect should not create an abstract design. The house will always stand on a specific site with its unique properties, and certain requirements are imposed on the construction on this site. Many unpleasant situations may arise when the project is completed without considering the requirements of the urban planning plan of the land plot, the internal rules of the village, without taking into account the availability of communications and allocated capacities, without topography.
Without a town-planning plan, the Architect may not position the house on the site correctly, design it of the wrong height, number of story’s, without matching the percentage of buildings and other parameters. In the best case, a house designed without considering the requirements of the GPZU will not be given a building permit, and the project will go to the table.
The village’s internal rules may contain stricter restrictions compared to the GPZU, and sometimes they contain requirements for the style of facades and fences.
When planning a house of 400-500 square meters, you need to have an answer to the question of whether the allocated capacity (electricity, at least) is enough. If he designs houses divorced from life, an architect will not ask the customer about this issue. His prices are per square meter: the more square meters, the more expensive the project. But this approach does not do anything good in the long run. Of course, the customer should choose who brings his projects to implementation and has experience in this.
Without topography, you can design a house without reference to the relief and accidentally discover later that it is standing on some gas pipe, a sewer well in front of the entrance group, and an electric pole will block the entrance gate.
Not all architects warn customers about the importance of collecting baseline data before designing. And some customers want to build faster. And so that the customer does not go to another architect, some neglect the above information. However, it is important to be aware of the consequences of a hasty start of construction and to do everything systematically from the very beginning.
If the Architect does not discuss the house’s budget (namely construction, not design), the client will most likely not be able to fit into the budget. It is even worse if the customer starts building a house without knowing the actual budget required. It threatens to be unfinished. It is even worse if the customer thinks that he can build a house much cheaper than the market. Then low-skilled workers are hired, the cheapest materials are bought, often not those included in the project, but close or distant analogues. The construction turns into a parody of what was in the project.
Knowing the budget, the Architect will be able to choose the most suitable solutions for the customer. When an architect raises the budget question, even with very wealthy customers by sight, this does not mean that he underestimates them. Because having a lot of money and being ready to spend it on a particular house are two different things.
There is an approval stage in architectural design, when the term largely depends on the speed of approval of the solution with the customer. This term cannot be clearly defined in the contract.
Otherwise, the work will be reduced to the formal issuance of developments, not the desire to create a harmonious home. Large-scale design for tens and hundreds of millions of rubles, when large companies with hundreds of employees act as customers and performers. It is common practice to accept and transfer planning options according to an act against an authorized person’s signature with a fixed deadline for consideration by one side and response by the other side. This does not work in private suburban housing construction.
Customers are private individuals, and performers are small companies that rarely have more than 10 people in their staff. Therefore, everything here is based on personal and trusting relationships.
Suppose according to the contract, the architectural services providers must issue layouts and appearance in full accordance with the customer’s wishes (which he does not yet know about) after 2 weeks. In that case, it is worth considering whether the customer will be satisfied with what he will receive in the end. After all, formally, everything can correspond to the TK. But formalism is not something to strive for when creating a home for yourself. The main thing is to make the right agreement, to have a mutual understanding with the Architect on various aspects, including the timing.
It is unreasonable to limit the customer in the deadline for submitting comments on the layout, because who else, if not he, is interested in completing the project. At the same time, the customer must have a correct idea of the timing of the Architect’s response to his comments. For example, we held negotiations on Monday evening, agreed on a list of changes. The Architect says he will be ready in two days. What does the customer think? Monday is the first day, Tuesday is the second. On Tuesday morning, you can find out how you are doing. What does the Architect think? Tuesday is the first day, Wednesday is the second. On Thursday, you can send the result. And not necessarily in the morning. To avoid conflicts, it is necessary to agree with the Architect on the exact date of the answer.
An architect is engaged in projects every day, knows his work, knows that he issues draft designs, and creates a concept for a house or architectural solutions. The customer who orders the project for the first time does not understand this at all. The customer may think that the project will have a foundation, communications, cost estimates and field supervision, of course.
Well, what is this house project without foundation? Is it possible to build a house without foundation, it’s obvious. Or construction without designer supervision? The Architect must control the compliance of the house under construction with the project. All this is true, but these are additional sections of the project and additional services. To avoid conflicts later, you need to find out everything in advance. Of course, it is difficult for the customer to ask questions about what he does not know. Therefore, it is better to choose a competent architect,
Often, misunderstandings about the composition of the project are manifested in the little things. For example, what is the diameter of the boiler chimney? The customer gives the roof plan for the calculation to the roofing company, and they select the passage element. Why is the chimney diameter not specified in the project? But because the diameter of the chimney depends on which boiler model. And the boiler model is selected based on the permitted power, load from heating, hot water supply, ventilation and something else in the form of a snow melting system, for example, as well as the presence of additional.
Structures such as a pool, a bath, etc., which this boiler will also heat. And the heating power is determined, in turn, based on the heat engineering calculation, according to which suitable heating devices are selected. The power for hot water supply is determined by calculation, based on the number of devices and their water consumption. Those heating and water supply projects must be completed and the project of the boiler house itself, which, of course, are paid separately. Only then can we talk about the diameter of the chimney. There are still many such small and controversial issues in the architectural project in addition to the chimney. What should be and what shouldn’t.
Therefore, before starting the design, the customer needs to ask the architect in Pakistan, what will be in the project, which works are included and which are not. To do this, you need to imagine the big picture of creating a house.
The project is not a detailed instruction for building a house. It cannot be given to any person from the street to perform installation, for example, of a stone on a facade, installation of a roof, etc. “Why then were the money paid for the project?” – the customer argues. The project assumes that professionals will build on it.
When a customer hires unskilled workers, it turns out that they do not understand anything about the project. And at this moment the customer thinks that the problem is not in the builders, but the project, and begins to demand from the Architect to explain to the builders what to do.
To avoid misunderstandings, you need to discuss the sample project before starting work and accept that the project is not a tutorial for those who cannot do anything. A project is like a sheet music for a musician. It is understood that the builder, like a musician, has a professional education, can read music and is fluent in the instrument. It’s just that the builder does not come up with a house, just as the musician does not come up with a melody, the builder is engaged in the professional execution of the idea that the Architect described in the project.
Work on each new option takes time. And time is money. An infinite number of options, in theory, should mean an infinite amount of money that is since a project costs a certain amount of money, then a certain number of options. And it must be determined before the start of the Architect’s work.
At the same time, edits and variations are different things. For example, if the customer asks to make changes without fundamentally changing the layout, this is an edit, and if he asks to change the layout structure, this is an option. Edits within one variant before the customer has agreed on the stage are usually included in the work’s cost.
Doing one option or several is everyone’s business, but you need to agree on this issue with the Architect before starting work. It is possible to stipulate that there will be only one variant in the project; it is possible to stipulate their number. And you can designate an infinite number of options, i.e. work until the customer is satisfied. Of course, there must be an adequate cost of the Architect’s work for each case, which is agreed with the customer in advance.
You also need to understand that technical specifications and options are different things. All the options can be within the framework of the TK and not contradict its requirements. The main thing is to have a mutual understanding before starting work.
For example, in our bureau, the position is as follows: we make only one option, the most rational, in our opinion. However, we go to meet those customers who want options. Before starting work, we clarify the options for what they want: layout, appearance, location on the site. And in accordance with this, we form the cost of our services.
The customer is often in a hurry to start construction, and there is no time to agree on a final decision on the draft design. He needs to dig a pit, but here they propose coordinating the location of drainpipes on the facade. The customer persuades that the working project (at least the foundation project) is developed parallel with the sketch.
The Architect and the designer meet halfway. And so it turns out that the working project is already ready, and the sketch is almost completed. And at this moment, the customer suddenly says: “Let’s reduce the overall dimensions of the house by 12 centimetres on each side, just half a brick.” What does this mean for a design engineer? Redo the entire working project. And for the customer? Only 12 centimetres. The specialist asks for additional payment, and the customer is dissatisfied: “For what! I have not yet finalized the draft design,
Yes, this is a minor revision within the draft design phase, but not within the working phase.
To avoid conflict with the Architect and additional costs, you need to understand the process’s whole structure and not jump to the next stage without completing the previous one.
There is no need to make hasty decisions, choose an architect by price or just by his portfolio. The decision must be made in a complex. You must share the Architect’s value system and not just architectural preferences. You should be comfortable communicating with him.
Someone wants to insist on their own, constantly change their opinions; someone is ready to completely surrender to the Architect’s professionalism. People with such different positions will have different architects. Imagine what kind of project will turn out if the customer, who knows everything himself, wants to make all the design decisions himself, has to work with a professional architect who is not used to getting into his professional field and telling him how to work.
Or vice versa, the customer in his ideas came to the Architect (with a capital letter), expects from him to create a harmonious project, and the Architect expects, that the customer will express to him all the wishes and he will transfer them exactly, mechanically, into the project. Choose “your” Architect. Then the process of discussing the project will please you, and you will be happy with the result (at home).
If you start interacting with an architect without clarity in all these issues, there will be no good project, especially at home. And the discussion process will turn into a continuous conflict. Initially, you need to build a serious trusting relationship with the Architect because the communication will not end with the project itself. The Architect plays a key role in constructing the house, carrying out architectural supervision, helping with the choice of materials so that exactly such a house is built as envisaged by the project.