How to Begin Designing Your Home In Advance Of Hiring a Professional Building Designer

The concept of designing your home is not new, but there are only a few people who really get the ultimate chance of converting their dreams into a reality by designing their own home. However, if you consider yourself a lucky person who comes under the category of designing, styling and building your own home, then you have to make sure that you have ample time to think, design, plan as well as a good sum of money to transform your dream home into a reality.

In most of the situations, the services of the architect are availed, but for an average owner builder, it can be an expensive exercise. The other suitable possibility is to hire a building designer, also known as draftsman, who is entitled to deliver the same services as that of the architect but at a low price tag.

The Beginning Stage – List out the Vital Factors for your Home Design

In the first stage of designing your home, the owner builder has to design the basic outline of what he actually wants on the site. The whole process must not necessarily be a professional one but should be based on mere sketching and important pointers that will be handy and useful in the next stage of designing your home. Start making a list or design brief of important points that cannot be ignored and after that note down the points that you consider as less important but would be good if incorporated in the house plan. In the important points list, the number of rooms, function of each room and other mandatory details should be mentioned. Such rooms might include bedrooms, dining room, kitchen, bathroom and others.

In the other list of less-important factors, add all those extra items like guest room, office room, entertainment area or others that you wish to include, but are restricted by the size of the house, landscape or budget.

The Intermediate Step – Sketching the Floor Plan

This step does not require any talent of drawing or sketching for the owner builder. All it requires are a pen and paper and then start making circles or squares to determine the positioning of the room where you actually want the new rooms to be located on a scaled site plan. The locations need not to be perfect or in great shape, but create a basic outline of the idea on which the building would be based upon. Keep in mind when designing each room natural light & ventilation, northerly access to living rooms, area and functionality. It is the lifestyle of the person or family that impacts upon the variations of designing your home. It helps to focus on the rooms like the living room or kitchen where the maximum amount of time is spent. Keeping in mind the usage and importance of each room, allocate the space accordingly. The less important rooms can take lesser space depending on how much space is required to operate the room or function properly in that room. Do not forget to add the mandatory items like stairs and corridors in the floor plan in your home plan.

Take Your Rough Plan to a Building Designer

Once the owner builder is done with the sketching stage of building of home, the next stage is to consult a building designer and hire his professional services. Building designers will create a standardized plan with all the professionalism just like an architect. It is vital for the owner builder to know the interior and exterior architecture of the potential house so that the exact look can be achieved by a building designer.
There are chances that your rough idea might come across some changes so that you can get the best choice for your home. A talented building designer has the skill to draw each and every aspect of the home to perfection. In constructing the best dream home, an owner builder has to collaborate with the building designer to attain the best long-term results.

Steel Structures and Metal Building Design Contractors

Metal building design contractors can work with steel building designs for a variety of structures. They manage and oversee the plans and construction of structures comprised of metal framework. The steel or other metal material is the main material source for the infrastructure of the building. These structures include but are not limited to barns, airplane hangars, warehouses, shipping and distribution facilities, retail stores, auto body and repair businesses, car dealerships, and truck terminals, to name a few. And each one of these structures has slightly or sometimes drastically different specifications for the construction of their walls, heights of their ceilings, and width of their room(s) in order to accommodate the equipment, live stock or live beings that venture in or are housed inside of the metal dwelling.

Metal building design contractors also work for a variety of government agencies, commercial venues or residential groups to create housing and protection on large or small property or for large or small groups of people. For example, there is information available on how metal building design contractors work with government agency structures to make sure the buildings are equipped to sway and still stand. And they also help with the construction of airplane hangars for government agencies and large corporations or private citizens. For commercial ventures they typically work with the construction of stores that benefit from the aesthetics or simplicity of the steel construction. On one hand, these stores include fishing, sporting goods, or automotive supply and repair stores, for example. In the automotive industries these large steel buildings make it easier to maneuver the vehicles, to insert lifts, and to perform the required mechanical engineering. On the other hand, there are plenty of big name warehouse stores that benefit from the size and convenience of the steel construction for the sheer girth of their commodities housed inside. Another example would be how they also help with residential or domestic structures. These include farm dwellings for horses and other animals.

Metal building design contractors work with their client’s plans and the prepared site to utilize the steel frames and sheets to create the vision that they have for the space. There are many benefits to steel construction. First, there is less of a need for load bearing walls and columns in a space. Second, there is less need for up keep. Third, it is less of a threat of damage due to fire or many other concerns as well.

Architect or Building Designer – Who Do You Choose?

Thinking of building a new home or complex? Will you use an architect or a building designer?

Both are involved in the design of buildings – their appearance, layout, structure, and so on. But what’s the difference?

The simplest difference is a legal one. To be called an “architect” in NSW, you have to be registered with the Board of Architects of NSW. The title “building designer” can be used by anyone designing buildings.

But that’s hardly even scratching the surface. Brian Basford is a building designer and treasurer of the Building Designers Association of NSW. He suggests that building designers are generally less expensive, and mostly involved in less flamboyant buildings. “It’s horses for courses. Most architects probably wouldn’t want to design a single bedroom extension for a pensioner, whereas I’ve done a lot of that.”

Brian also stressed that there are quite often overlaps between what architects do and what building designers do. There’s no simple rule. “But no matter what the job, good building designers and good architects both produce quality work”, he says.

Architect Gary Kurzer agrees that architects are more likely to be involved with more distinctive, “up-market” buildings. But not because of cost. “Architects work to your budget just like building designers. The real reason is that architects are a little more likely to stretch the boundaries and challenge convention.”

According to Gary, you should generally choose an architect if you want more than just a literal translation of your brief. “My clients normally have a rough idea of what they want. I take that idea and transform it into something they love, but could never have imagined themselves.”

The most important thing is knowing what you want from the service, and choosing someone that suits your job.

And whether you choose an architect or building designer, remember, qualifications are no guarantee of quality. Always ask to see previous examples of their work. Ask for references from previous customers. Ask to see their qualifications. Ask how long they’ve been working. Do they have professional indemnity insurance? Are they a member of an accredited body?…

In the end, it’s like anything else… there’s no substitute for common sense.

Thanks to Gary Kurzer, Architect, 0411044448, and Brian Basford, Building Designer.

FAQs

Q: Are architects and building designers the same thing?

A: No. Architects must be registered with the Board of Architects of NSW.

Q: Will I get a better design from an architect?

A: Not necessarily. The only guarantee is a minimum level of qualifications. Architects must have a Bachelor of Architecture degree (5 years) as well as the demonstrated ability to deal with clients and satisfy their requirements. Generally this means at least a couple of years experience in an architect’s office.

Q: Are building designers more in touch with builders and other trades?

A: Not necessarily. Architects are trained to deal with and manage all aspects of the building project. It all comes down to the individual’s experience and abilities.

Q: Are Building designers “would-be” architects?

A: No. Building design is a recognised profession with its own national body (the BDAA) offering 3 levels of accreditation based on experience and quality – but registration isn’t compulsory. Many building designers have the qualifications to register with the Board of Architects but they choose not to because they don’t think the name “architect” is worth the ongoing cost of registration.

Q: Are architects more expensive?

A: Not necessarily. An architect will work to your budget like a building designer. They can do anything from a simple design to very complex interior and exterior detailing to superintendence of the building process. Your building costs and ongoing running costs may also be less. For example, find out if your architect is incorporating cost-saving measures into the building process. They may also design to take advantage of natural lighting, ventilation, heating, cooling, etc. which will save you less in electricity.

Q: How do I tell if they’re really an architect?

A: Call the Board of Architects of NSW – (02) 93564900 or visit [http://www.boarch.nsw.gov.au/f_consumer.html].

Q: How do I look for an accredited building designer?

A: Call the Building Designers Association of NSW – Sydney (02) 49264855 or visit http://www.bdansw.com.au or [http://www.bdaa.com.au/index.htm].

Q: Where else can I go for further information?

A: http://www.architecture.com.au – Royal Australian Institute of Architects

http://www.bdansw.com.au – Building Designers Association of NSW