CUSTOM HOMES FAQ
A custom home is a new residence designed and built according to your needs and desires. It is not to be confused with a tract or builder home that is designed with maybe three variations, plunked down by the hundreds in a suburban tract and which you get to "customize" by picking your upgrades, tile finishes or that special epoxy floor in the garage.
While that has been a great marketing ploy by developers/ builders, there's really nothing custom about a builder home, that except for a few finishes or cosmetic touches is exactly the same as the one next to it. The better term would have been "altered" (as when a tailor alters your clothes to fit).
For a custom home, Your architect works with you and your family to understand your needs, lifestyle, tastes, program and budget to design a home that is customized for you.
If you don't have a program that outlines the type of spaces you would like to have in the home, your architect will work with you to develop one. Designing a home is a personal journey because the architect needs to understand how you and your family lives. Your day to day schedules and activities. Your habits and how you would like to live your daily lives and the site it will sit on. All of this is brought together to develop a program and a conceptual design.
Small Is Good
The bigger the home and the more lavish the fittings, the higher the costs. Many architects and designers specialize in designing large edifices. TO the public, the impression is that large mansions are all architects ever do.
Remember that the architect doesn't design these buildings without the input of the client. A large home comes about usually because a client desires it. Though there are the cases where an architect becomes the driving force behind such decisions but that's usually on projects with limitless budgets. It still takes skill and talent to make these spaces work well together and to design a home whose proportions work well and is attractive.
While we can design large homes, sometimes the greater challenge is to work on smaller lots with tight space constraints. To develop exciting and sustainable designs that are functional, innovative, good looking and sometimes with tight budgets. A builder can design and build you a home fairly inexpensively. You choose an architect when you have an unusual situation and are hoping to make the most of it. There are good residential designers, builders and architects out there. As a client, it's your responsibility to find one who will best convey your dreams and aspirations into a home you enjoy over your lifetime. To reach that point, takes skill, talent and hard earned knowledge. So choose your designer well and understand the costs implications.
Remember that a good, efficient design by an architect can save the clients money, provide a better home and yet the architect's fee will only be a drop in the bucket in the overall scheme of things. We strive to design homes that are better, not just bigger. Practical homes that are personal, functional, and attractive.