So a question we hear a lot here at Chiselwood is, â€˜how can I find a good architect that is right for me?â€™ For me, finding and working close with architects that can interpret your ideas to get a perfectly designed house is essential. As design led furniture manufacturers we are constantly firing outÂ ideas, but it is crucial to find somebody that can make those ideas a reality or tell us whether it is even possible.
Being introduced to Gary and his team from SGA architects was a happy accident, we visited a site where Eco houses were being built locally. We met the builder Steff Wright from Gusto Construction. Whilst the houses were very different to the concepts we had in mind their experience in designing an Eco type House was a perfect start. Â https://www.sga-llp.co.uk/
We sat and talked through the elements of the design that we felt important to include. Here at Chiselwood, we are not frightened to incorporate curves and materials to enhance the design; we didnâ€™t want our houses to be any different and needed to reflect the ethos that Chiselwood had. Using curved walls both inside and out would soften the living space and compliment the exterior amongst the trees. Using wooden cladding, large feature windows and grey roofing would support the organic theme. We were also keen to design houses that were as energy efficient as we could, incorporate great storage within the houses and think about the way the owner would utilise the space. These are all things that make it so important to have the right architect that understands all of your goals and why, so you can be ambitious but realistic –Â https://chiselwood.co.uk/projects/
Here at Chiselwood clients ask us to solve their storage problems, often in room spaces that could compromise practical daily requirements. We were conscious from the start in designing the houses, that there needed to be plenty of places to store vacuums, ironing boards and bulky kitchen appliances.Â
The brief grew whilst talking things through, and of course we wanted them to look amazing!
Gary went away and returned a month later with the concept drawings. We were both relieved and excited that he had interpreted our ideas perfectly, with additional things we had not thought of. THIS is the key reason for finding the right architect. There were very few things we would want to change and therefore we could now start looking at the finer detailed plans to then allow us to utilise and source the materials we could use both inside and out.Â
Taking time to research this part and being patient whilst you wait for numerous samples should be factored into the project. We wanted to be environmentally friendlyÂ in everything if at all possible. This restricted a lot of products we could have used on the project, however it is becoming increasingly easier, as there are many innovative companies producing great products. Hours collecting products comparing quality, colours textures became normal, each meeting adding different dimensions to the overall look of the houses.Â
I think a great lesson I learned is being careful not to give yourself too much choice, as decisions will not get made. Cost also has to be factored in when making the decisions, as it would be easy to blow the budget.Â
With the draft designs in place we ticked another box to add to getting the planning permission. If you remember in the first blog our design was a huge positive for us in getting the planners and council to approve the scheme. The time and energy was worth it!
I mentioned in the last blog that finding great consultants, architects and specialist companies on board to get the perfect designed house early on will in the long run save you money. Their experience and advice will allow you to make informed decisions. For us there were elements that we would have struggled in getting right, eg the M&E (mechanical engineering) careful calculations would be essential for energy ratings due to the fact we wanted the Eco type build. The heating system, insulation ventilation etc needed careful consideration to get the best rating we could. If we had natural gas in our end of the village we would have achieved an A rating however we managed to get a high B which would be good.Â
So overall, with all of this taken into consideration, did we find find a good architect that was right for us? We believe so! I think taking time to look at other developments around that you like an then see which architects were involved. Take the time to meet several times to feel they connect with both you and your ideas.Â
You will also read in later blogs, that getting ideas of what we would like to achieve alters many times to make this a reality.Â
– do your research in how to find the right architect for you.
– have a clear brief on what criteria you have for the overall look and design for the architect to have a starting point.
– be patient and take time to research product and price, however be careful not to overwhelm yourself with choice as this will slow decisions down.
– get advice from consultants and specialists for areas you are not experienced in as this will save you money in the long run.
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