We sometimes find the need to expand or modify cabinets and rooms, for countless reasons such as, the need for separate and more spacious quarters and better ventilation. These and many more make us think of embarking on a renovation project of our own home. It seems to be an open ended tunnel of problems. Sure it is, but it can be simplified by following a comprehensive renovation plan and a realistic budget.
The first step is always a realistic and serious discussion among the owners and inhabitants to pinpoint their respective requirements and expectations. A realistic discussion should always occur,because they must consider working within the bounds of the existing lot area, avoiding any major demolition of the structural features of the house. Questions should be raised and priorities should be evaluated. A minor tip for your discussion: always start with the condition of the roof. If you have at any time seen water marks on the ceiling or heard water dripping, then by all means give the roof the first priority. Never do any interior renovation with ongoing roof repairs.
What does the family need most?
An extra room with toilet and bat, a bigger kitchen, a lanai or patio, or simply a new look. How do you want your new house to look like? Perhaps you were inspired by a friend’s house or a house you have just discovered in some neighborhood. Browse and read interior design magazines. Be aware of what is around you. Develop you ideas in relation to your requirements. After all the considerations, come up with a financial budget you can afford. With all these inputs, it is time you go to your architect.
The meeting with your architect is very crucial and should be very comprehensive
Invite the architect to your house and discuss the following topics in this order: First, your problems and requirements, second, your budget, inclusive of the architect’s fee. Never be too shy to say “this is what I want to spend.”The architect should be able to give a very close approximation on how far your budget will go and give you sound advice on the limitations of your expectations. Once this is settled and agreed upon, you can now discuss the vision of your renovation. Again, always say what you have in mind. Everyone has an idea of what he or she wants. Architects will always welcome your suggestions and ideas, no matter how eccentric, because they can explain why your idea will work or why it won’t. You should tell the architect your preferences, your superstitious beliefs, if any, and all the things you believe in. These discussions are all encouraged because you do not want to feel uncomfortable in your own home after the renovations. However, it is also of great importance that you give the architect the trust and artistic freedom needed to create and translate your needs and expectations to a workable design.
At this stage, having gone through the design schemes and choosing the most appropriate design closest to your expectations, it is important that you are totally convinced and satisfied with the floor plans, space appropriations, and elevations. Take time in scrutinizing every area because it is cheaper to build than to demolish and rebuild. With your approval, the architect shall now come up with the architectural designs and specifications, structural details, electrical plan, specifications and computations, plumbing lay-out and all other details which can be totally alien to your understanding. The professional architect can answer your questions and help you understand what he has done.
All expectations, ideas and considerations are now determined by the two-dimensional drawings on paper. The drawings will be the source of information for any course of action taken or material purchased for the renovation project, so it should be comprehensive.