What if you have a large wish list and the ability to get a bit more money if the price is right? That’s not uncommon, and there is nothing wrong with that. I know I harp on people about figuring out a budget and priorities before calling the architect, but sometimes that isn’t the way you need to go about it. What does the process look like then?
Be aware that there is a difference between asking an architect to draw as much of your wish list that will fit within a given budget and drawing a wish list to see what the budget will be. Many times my clients go the latter route, but having your priorities in order is just as important, if not more important, because you will have lots of fruit dangled in front of you that you will need to pick from, and AGREE ON, with your partner. Do you pick the shiny red cherries or the big juicy watermelon? Nine times out of ten this will lead to a more expensive project (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and higher architectural fees, but if that is the way you need to go about it, that’s fine. Just be aware of it ahead of time.
Why the higher architectural fees you ask?
If you have your priorities and budget in place, this is what the general process will look like:
- · I Draw a few options of your priorities that will fit within a certain budget
- · I Do a few inevitable modifications to the design which are to be expected
- · We get pricing and I Complete the Construction Documents
This will cost X dollars.
If you don’t have your priorities and budget in place, this is what the general process will look like:
- · You still have to do the above three items
- · After the first round of drawings and the inevitable modifications, we give the set of drawings to contractors for pricing
- · We get pricing back, you choke on the price, and we begin redesigning with your newly discovered priorities in mind
- · I do another round of drawings and have it priced again….
- · Choke and repeat….
This costs X + Y + Z dollars.
9 times out of 10 we will only have to go through 2-3 rounds of drawings to get to the final product and, while it does cost more, this gives people the confidence that they have explored their options with the help of professionals. Again, there is nothing wrong with that, but you can lessen the number of iterations if you take the time to even slightly narrow down your priorities and budget.
Talk to your architect about how he or she deals with, and bills for, the additional rounds of drawings, so you can take the extra fees into consideration when determining your overall budget. Remember, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you need to see the cherries in order to feel confident you made the right choice in going with the watermelon, which is fine. Just be prepared for it.