How to get the best Design from your Architect.

Question-

I have a question for you. I am in the process of finalizing the purchase of an old bungalow which is built on a approximately 1344-335sq. 

My plan is to either completely demolish the said building and erect a very nice building where I and my family would reside after retirement. 

I want the building to be perfect, I mean to have all the available modern facilities and design. 

Now, is there any way you can advise me on how I can go about this because of of the architects would just give you useless drawings. I want you to propose something for me. I need you to guide me on how I can get a very nice and most modern building like those ones in Maitama in Abuja or better still like those ones in Lekki and VI. 

How do I go about this issue. I need a very nice and cute modern design. 

Tell me how to go about it 

Thanks 

Yemi.

Reply-

For any architect to meet your demands is a piece of cake but relaying what you want and your relationship with him/her can go along way in meeting up with your demands. Finances and other factors will also affect your project design.
To do design the type you see in Lekki etc is easy but lots of the decisions will be controlled by your budget, taste and facilities. If you want swimming pool in every room yes an architect will do it for you as far as he is not restricted by finances even farr!! beyond your expectations.
But these are some of the steps you can take to help your architect-

1) If you have a picture of a building that catches your fancy, you can send him the picture. He is not to replicate the exact building but he can borrow some of the features/characters and add to your building designs.

2) You can also go through the internet and search for plans on the net like www.eplans.com these designs though mostly are for other climes and culture so not applicable to Nigeria, however your architect can gain an idea of how you want your building to look like.

3) Communicate constantly with your architect especially through emails, so you can criticise and also ask for his own opinion on most of the issues you have.

4) Is also important you have a budget and let him be aware of it. Often times the buildings people want are actually simple but very elegant with top class finishes. If you aren’t careful your architect may mistake your fancy for a complex and confusing design that will end up doing no one good but waste of hard earned money.

5) Pay your architect well and give him room to inject some of his ideas especially when it falls in line to what you want.

6) Do a comprehensive drawing, by that I mean contact him to get a structural drawing from the structural engineer,the mechanical(plumbing) drawing from the mechanical engineer and the electrical drawings from the electrical engineer. With this you are bound to have a very functional design and you’ll save money especially when you have capable hands supervising the project and there is synergy.

7) Usage of quality materials especially in finishes is also important though they are costlier but they last longer and the effect is there for everyone to see, check Dulux paints and compare to others.

8) Professionals must be on site to supervise the project. Most buildings are well designed but were messed up during execution because of quacks.

9) At the process of design clients are easily carried away these days by 3d or picture drawings, this does not contribute technically to your building rather your designer only uses it to bamboozle you, and if you fall in love with the 3d you’re always constrain to that design. Designs should be from the plan before graduating to elevations and 3ds. Tell him/her you only want the floor plans only at the beginning it helps you to critically look at the flow and ask questions and contribute before the picture representation is brought out.

An architect with decades of experience

7 Comments

  1. May God continue to bless and increase the glorious works of ur hand, ur answer has solve a great deal for me ,as I was in the same challenge with the writer.
    Thanks
    Mr Sam

  2. Let me say it again- well done you on your free advice which I have applied and which has helped tremendously. A note of caution to the last writer who wants to build a retirement home. Take these points into serious consideration: 1. You are now old 2. The kids have flown the nest 3. Cash is not as free flowing as before 4. Domestic help will not be as easily available. Therefore watch the following: 1. Size. 2. Finishing materials- should be easy maintenance.3.simplicity. Finally an achitect can only draw what u want.

  3. Nice councel…when clients become too rigid,..the design becomes a ness,..you give the brief and the Architect do the design.

  4. i have a half plot of land 60 x 60 and i have a plan to build three bedroom flat on it ,can it have space at the front or what can i do. advice sir

    1. Well the only space will definitely have to be at the front. May be you can consider something I am about to send to your mail.

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