One of the most rewarding aspects in designing, creating and actualizing the custom dream home comes from the relationship that develops between the architect, builder and the homeowner. The carefully laid plans, designed around the vision and the lifestyle of the future occupants, honed by the architect and executed by the builder are all pieces of the puzzle that will result in the masterpiece to be erected. Whether simple or elaborate, the relationship that evolves determines the satisfaction with the journey and the end result.
The simple message is to choose carefully, with all members involved in the project. Every artisan, ancillary designer, be it interior or landscape, needs to be fully vested with the project at hand and have a solid understanding of the homeowners’ vision for their custom home. The two main collaborators with the homeowner, the architect and the custom home builder, in order to be fully effective, need to be in sync as well, and establishing trust and mutual respect is paramount. Given the considerable amount of time, money and effort put into erecting a luxury dream home, the experience should be nothing short of exceptional.
With the incredible cast and crew of talent required to pull off a dream home masterpiece, lines can often blur between who is responsible for recruiting specific artisans and specialists for the various roles. Both architects and custom home builders have a great deal of experience and strong pre-established relationships with various skilled laborers and artisans. Many larger architectural firms and builders also have on staff various experts, whether it be lighting designers, masons, etc. Yet all parties need to be on board, particularly the project manager, with who is filling the roles; the part everyone plays needs to be clearly defined. Breaches in both trust and communication lead to very expensive delays in a project.
Finding the right architect is generally the first step in the process of building a dream home. Many have very specific ideas about their desired project, and the architect then initiates the design phase to incorporate all of the desired elements. At this point, many architects also imagine complimentary landscaping schemes to tie the outdoor and indoor elements in with the architectural style. Before this process is entirely complete, a general contractor or custom home builder should then be brought into the process.
Ideally, the builder and architect will complete the final designs together, drawing on the other’s expertise with all areas of the project. Everything from orientation, lighting, materials used and hundreds of other considerations large and small should be discussed and determined. This dialogue allows for more accurate cost and time estimates, and clarifies direction and intention for the project for all parties involved: the building block of trust.