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Does Your Lake Martin Home Need Botox?

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When it comes to architecture, I don’t know rococo from romanesque. The Lake Martin Voice welcomes guest writer Amy Stoyles to help us all learn about the finer points of home design.  Thanks Amy!!!

Does Your Lake Martin Home Need Botox?

Botox home

Okay, so since the holidays we’ve all been working on those New Year’s resolutions… and I’m not talking about losing those last five pounds.

Rather, it’s those things you want to change about your Lake Martin home – the kitchen that’s too small, the back porch you always wanted, the master bathroom suite with a super sized shower.

And, for the same reasons people hire personal trainers to finally get over that plateau, I have to break it to you – it’s time to hire an Architect.

I can hear the excuses already. While there can be some small truth to all of the following, running an idea by an Architect, even just through a quick phone call, can make a huge difference in your project’s success.

1.  Architects Are Too Expensive

Yes, Architects can be expensive. But you would be surprised how much they can save you. Architects can take into account new products and building methods that save you money. A good Architect will keep the massing, the overall shape of the structure or addition, simple. That means you save money on the basics and allows you to splurge on the noticeable details that make your home really special – trim work, cabinets and exposed rafter tails that make the house shine.  No one ever complimented anyone on the complexity of their roofline, but everyone notices if you have gorgeous custom cabinets. Those things are vitally important on a renovation or expansion job where new features need to match with the existing structure.

2.  My Lake Home Project Is Too Small For An Architect

As for the idea that a renovation job is too small for an Architect – well, there are timesSmall house when a job is so straightforward that a homeowner is best just getting a contractor to do it. But 9 times out of 10, even the simplest additions can involve complex problems, like:

• ensuring against water leaks when dealing with rooflines,
• recommending the best products for new windows, doors, and materials,
• stabilizing additions so they do not sink or settle at a different rate than the existing structure, and more.

3.  Staying in Budget

Rule No 1: When your budget is important to you, tell your Architect.

Use your Architect to help you stay in budget by creating a team between yourself, the Architect and a Contractor. Have the Contractor review drawings throughout their creation – this allows everyone to stay on the same page when it comes to dollar signs.

4.  Why not just use the Contractor?

As I said before, there are times when this is the best route. But what the heck, call an Architect and see what they say. If the project really is that easy, they will let you know. All you will have lost is the time of a quick phone call and most times an Architect can help recommend reliable contractors at the same time to help you get started down your new path.

Amy Stoyles is co-founder and partner of Archiscapes, LLC an architecture firm with offices in Alabama and Florida.