To facilitate this process, you can do some homework. Below is a list of items to consider and collect. They will help your architect quickly get an idea of what you are looking for and also help the architect refine their fee proposal and their own research on your behalf.
- Collect Architecture Images. These can be of homes, buildings and interiors that you like. They can be from magazines, books or on-line resources. Collect them in a binder or file. Collect images that give you feelings like “comfortable,” “peaceful” or “warm” – even if you don't like all of the elements in the picture. Collect images of spaces that you like, even if you don't understand why; architects can ask questions to determine the reasons for you.
- Collect Art Images. Do you have a favourite painting or sculpture? An architect can look at these items and help discern your preferences for colour and composition.
- Collect Materials and Images. What do you like on a building? Stucco, brick, stone?
- Collect Your Favourites. Do you have a favourite space you like to visit like an art gallery or restaurant? Does you mother have the best kitchen? Do you have a favourite garden?
- Talk to Your Friends. Learn about renovation or construction experiences from your friends, family and colleagues and make a list of questions for your architect based on their experiences.
- Write Lists of Wants and Preferences. Include all ideas about your project, including all elements that you would like to include – even if they seem idealistic. Do not edit this list, but prioritize items if possible.
- Catalogue Furniture, Art and Collections. Will you integrate existing furniture into your project? Do you have a favourite collection of paintings, memorabilia or pictures your kids drew? These items can greatly influence space layout and need to be measured and documented so they can be properly integrated into your project.
- Create a Budget. How much do you have to spend? In addition to construction, this budget may need to include many items such as surveys; municipal and building fees; moving expenses; temporary accomodation; design and engineering fees; new furniture; and utility servicing among others.