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Considering a home update or home renovation? Do you need an architect?

It is time for a home update or renovation?  The pressing question is “Do you need an architect?” The answer is not “if” you need an architect, but “when”.

Let me lay out the scenario.

You bought a home in the best school district with the best park district in the best location. The community offers old-world charm, quaint shopping areas, restaurants within walking distance, and easy access to work. There is even a community pool for those hot summer days. Just what you were looking for, right? But you take a closer look, and, well, the house isn’t really all that great. As a matter of fact, it’s less than great. The floor plan is choppy, your furniture doesn’t fit, there is no natural light available, and in general, the house just doesn’t fit your lifestyle. To make matters worse, that pastel country kitchen has to go, immediately.

So now what? A coat of paint, new cabinets, new appliances? Maybe even new furniture?   It all works, right?

No, but hey, the location is great.  Now consider this.  Is this really your home?  The place family will gather for holiday meals and the neighbor kids hang out?  Is this really your forever home?

What if you had started a conversation with your architect first…  Before the home renovations began?

What if you asked that architect how you could make this space unique to you and your family?

Let me tell you what I think should happen.

Working with an architect should be a process. Before anything in your home renovation, the conversation should begin with what you like and dislike about the current space. As an architect I need to know what your lifestyle is like.  You need to be able to tell me how you envision this renovation is going to enhance your daily living needs. And then I get to push back a little. I am going to ask you to be really honest – with yourself and then with me. While this is not always easy, it is an important part of the process. Dig deep to find out what will make you happy not only now but also in the next phases of your life. Let me push the barriers a little and introduce colors and concepts that maybe you may never have considered. Together we can create a schematic design, a design meant “to represent simply” a plan tailored to your specific wants and needs.

Schematic design in home plans means to represent simply

Architects are trained in the art and science of building design and, as such, will

Michael Buss Architect Visit
A Michael Buss Architect Site Visit

play a pivotal role in the construction phase of your project. Your architect should be the one person in the center of everything; the one person wearing the many hats needed to make your project a success. Your architect should speak the language of carpenter, plumber, definitely structure, obviously designer, and sometimes, even psychologist and arbitrator.

But most of all, your architect should speak for you.

The process can get complicated. But now is the time to explore. This is the time where you take a breath and take a moment to explore how to accomplish your goals. To let your architect develop a plan to reprogram your home for now and in the years to come.

First,  their original plan to change the cabinets.

Second, we could expand the space a few feet to allow for a larger island.

Or third, I could give them exactly what they wanted.

A recent project I was working on involved a kitchen renovation.  The client had wanted to start by replacing old cabinets and appliances to achieve a new look. Our conversation began by asking them what they thought they were really gaining by taking this route.

I could see so many more options that they hadn’t even considered yet.

Subsequent conversations with them revealed that they were really looking for so much more. Family, to them, meant better use of the kitchen space. They really wanted a place to cook with family, better integration with the family room for family gatherings, and a view of the newly-installed built-in pool in the outdoor living area.

What they really wanted was an area tailored to meet their family values. This was a little more than simple new cabinets and appliances would accomplish. It was also something that would not have been revealed without that conversation. What they needed was an architect who would truly listen and come up with a plan. I gave them three options to choose from.

So when do you call an architect?

The bottom line is this: You call an architect at the very moment you’ve decided you are ready for a change.

Start the conversation early by giving us a call. Let’s work together to make your home the perfect living space for now and for the future.

Michael Buss has a diversified design and construction background that included carpentry, roofing even the family concrete business. all of these experiences have provided Michael with a unique insight into the design and home remodeling industry to and provide the architect lead design/build philosophy to his home remodeling and renovation projects.

Michael Buss
Michael Buss


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