While the practice of architecture and design requires innovation, experience and technical knowledge, it should not require the arcane practice of mind reading.
Whether you are building your dream home. a small residential project or a large-scale development, a comprehensive design brief for your architect is the cornerstone of achieving what you set out to accomplish.
Providing clear directives at the onset ensures the concept is well understood. It streamlines design development, saves money in redrafts and minimizes changes once construction starts.
Change orders are the most common way construction goes over budget, so it is well worth the hours spent drawing up your project while it is still on the architect's drawing table.
Starting from scratch can be a daunting task, so let's walk through some steps. Write down your objectives, whether is it a four bedroom, three-bathroom house with a pool or a 40-unit upscale villa project. Then list in detail what the design characteristics are, such as a general style and key themes or elements.
List some references or benchmarks of designs you like or even small signature items from other projects. This allows a broad understanding of expectations while giving the designer leeway to innovate.
For private homes, provide a profile of who will use the property. Will it be for a young family of four or an older couple ? What are their likes, dislikes and special needs. For residential development, create an anticipated customer profile, including key characteristics of the buyers or end users. One key rule of architecture is that form follow function so understanding who you are designing for greatly affects the plans.
With that in mind it's important to do a site analysis from the ground up. Don't focus only on the land on which you will build, also look at the access, views, infrasture and usage of the surrounding land.
Let's say you have a wonderful view and the land in front of you could be sold