An important consideration when renovating in New York City is to decide if you want to hire the services of an architect. Here are the biggest factors to consider when making this decision.
1. An architect will optimize your space for the way you live. With an architect, you’ll ensure you’re creating the best layout and orientation to make the most of your living space. They’ll ask questions like, “do you read the paper with your morning coffee, or scramble to get the kids to school?” or, “would you like your teenage kids to be able to hang out at your place?” The answers help create a design solution that fits your lifestyle now and for the future. Architects also take into consideration the light, space proportions, energy usage, and materials necessary to create the best possible design for your remodel.
2. You’ll get an idea of how much it will cost you to live in your home, on an ongoing basis. While a precise cost estimate may not always be possible, an architect can often look at your project and say, “the base cost of the project is X, but then there’s also Y (electric bills, gas, etc.), which takes into account the life cycle of living with these changes.” If you’re the one stuck in the house after the last workman has packed up his tools, it’s worth knowing what the “Y” costs will be.
3. Your home will be designed to evolve along with your life. One of life’s only givens is change. Your family and lifestyle may look very different 5, 10 years from now, and you want your home to be beautiful and usable by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or status in life. An architect knows this, and by using an approach known as “universal design,” will work with you to ensure that your home is capable of handling changes, and that the space can adapt to whatever life brings.
4. Product specification will be much easier. Architects are exposed to a range of products for the home, and they have access to catalogues and samples (such as unique kitchen tiles) to show you. This will save you an enormous amount of time and effort – you won’t have to surf the Internet or spend countless weekends at stores looking for materials while you’re creating your scope of work.
5. Your architect will offer value engineering. When embarking on a project as big as a home remodel, it’s important to have an expert take into consideration all the different costs versus functions — also known as value engineering. A registered architect and AIA member will know all the building codes, compliance issues, regulations, best practices, and more associated with your choices.
Bolster has partnered with the American Institute of Architects to help you answer all these questions. The American Institute of Architect’s wealth of resources will guide you through the process of engaging an architect for your project.