Studio Design Group - San Luis Obispo Architects
December 26, 2019

Things Architects Wish You Knew

Architects enhance lives and communities by thoughtfully and purposefully designing built environments. Working closely with clients and community development professionals ensures that goals are understood, needs are met, aesthetics are pleasing, and projects come in on schedule and on budget.

For clients, new building projects are full of excitement, enthusiasm and anticipation. But they can bring their wet-blanket counterparts: uncertainty, reality, and budget constraints. Your Central Coast design team at Studio Design Group Architects, Inc. works closely with clients to shed light on the processes and practicalities without leaving dreams and desires in the dark.

Here are some things to know before you embark on a design-build journey.

Understanding Portfolios

Experienced professionals will be happy to share past projects and highlight similarities between your needs and projects they’ve completed. Ask about the goals and challenges of prior projects and the solutions the design team provided. Don’t be shy about checking references. Walk through public spaces of completed projects.

Keeping Open Lines of Communication

Once you’ve selected your architectural design team, focus on communication. You will connect easily on some things, but others might prove more challenging. Be prepared to listen, share, and learn.

Talking in Code: Energy, Earthquakes, and Engineering

You have probably been some amazing places and seen some incredible things. Sometimes the dreamy design ideas that followed you home just won’t work at your site or in your application. In California, energy standards might prevent the big wall of glass you’d envisioned showing off the scenic landscape. Earthquake standards might introduce structural requirements that stifle artistic expressions. That second story deck you had in mind might require a whole lot of extra spending in order to meet the engineering standards and building code requirements that will keep users safe. Plan for some creative compromises as details are fine-tuned and your design team brings your vision into focus.

Keeping Your Eye On the Prize, Not Its Package

If codes, financial constraints or regional restrictions disturb your design dreams, it’s a good time to revisit your goals. Why was that feature appealing? What need did it meet? What problem did it prevent or solve? What aspect of the design did you find pleasing?

Once your goals are clearly understood, your architectural design team can share new options that fit your vision, needs, or budget. Be flexible and willing to explore new ideas.

Helping Spaces Help People

The more your architectural team knows about how a space will be used, the more solutions they can provide for the people inside. Architects want to design efficient, effective spaces. They want people to feel supported by their environments, not saddled with them. Spend some time envisioning how you want spaces to flow, function and feel.

Controlling Scope Creep

What are the 4 most expensive words in building? “While we’re at it.” Understanding and anticipating needs up front can save time and money. But beware the siren song of “Oh, maybe” and “what about…” Define your goals now to prevent enthusiasm-fueled impulses later.

Planning a project is different for everyone, but it’s always more rewarding with a knowledgeable, supportive team by your side. Reach out to Studio Design Group Architects, Inc. in San Luis Obispo today online or at (805) 541-3848 for more tips and guidance.

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