Proper design or proper planning is the key to any successful home building or renovation project. A few extra hours or days spent on the planning side will save you days or months in the construction phase. After getting a general understanding of the regulations of building it is important to understand your ultimate goal - why am I really doing this? Are you renovating to flip or are you thinking long term, maybe even your dream house. Knowing your "why" will get you through the tough times - and there will be tough times no matter what.
When thinking about design you should be thinking about four key elements:
Understanding your ultimate purpose of your building project. Is this a long term goal or a quick update and flip? Will this project benefit you financially? Are there different ways to achieve the end result. Should you hire a professional to flesh out your ideas and needs.
Mass and shape define form. Mass refers to the volume defined by a structure relative to its surroundings. Mass can be controlled by your surroundings, cost and local regulations. Shape is the composition and complexity of the surface planes. Shape can be controlled by cost and the materials proposed.
Both exterior and interior building materials should be selected based on upon their appropriateness for the building type, durability, impact on the environment, climatic conditions, code, cost, availability and the prevailing design and character of the installation.
Establishing a budget and securing proper financing. Knowing who to hire and what type of contracts. Understanding hidden expenses. Establishing a time line.
When to get help?
If you have been collecting articles and magazines but don't know how to put those ideas on paper or if you know little about construction, then seek out the help of a professional designer. If you have problems visualizing 3D form 2D drawings then seek the help of a professional. It is easier and cheaper to change your mind on paper then half way through your building project. Depending on the scale the project you could hire a student designer, draftsperson, contractor or an architect or interior designer. Keep in mind that you may also require the assistance of engineers or specialists depending on your local permit requirements or complexity of project. As a suggestion - if you are thinking of spending over $50,000 on a renovation then hire an engineer and unless your building a simple box home then always retain the services of an engineer. Most building departments have reduced building permit fees when a engineer(s) is on board.
Four other key notes to remember to designing
Investigate, Educate, Communicate and Coordinate.
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