How to transition an idea to reality with a construction project

Firelands Federal Credit Union Rendering

You have a great idea of how you want to improve your current facilities, or finally start that new business you’ve always wanted. You have an idea of how you want your new building or addition to look but how do you take your thoughts and turn them into a plan?

No matter how many HGTV shows you watch, there will still be a big difference between what you are thinking and how to narrow it down enough to start putting a design to paper even when it comes to the difference between residential to commercial projects. The best person to help with this would be an architect. An architect not only has the expertise to visualize what you want to do but also what questions to ask to make sure the space is functional.

Architects are trained to dig and discover everything about your day-to-day operations. They distill your needs to help you accommodate your projects goals. Architects use this knowledge and experience to creatively craft spaces while meeting the functional parameters of a project.  How occupants interact with the space is just as important as the aesthetic.

Some of the questions that might be asked when you talk to an architect:

  • How many people will be working in the space?
  • What will you use the space for?
  • What kind of look are you going for?
  • What kind of budget do you have?

Budget usually becomes one of the biggest considerations of whether what the client wants is workable with what they can afford. There are many ways to still make their dream work but sometimes compromises need to be made or alternate plans discussed.

An example of this could be if you want exposed wooden beams in your ceiling but that increases the cost too much, it can be designed to have decorative beams installed that are not integral to the structure of the build. The structure can be built using more cost-efficient methods while creating the look the client wants.

“Many times, we have a client with a strong vision in their head of what they want to accomplish,” said Brian Stanley AIA, NCARB, Architect at Janotta & Herner. “We can make it happen, but there are a lot of details that we need to think about when we start to design. We need to think about constructability, future expansion, client experience and other details that will make the space as functional as it is visually appealing. We need to understand the clients wants and needs so we know what a successful design for them would be.”

From here, plans are drawn up and then you would get a quote for the construction.

By this point, you have a solid grasp of what you want to do and what the cost will be to do it.

Then you can move forward with building your vision. If you want to know what happens after this, you can check out our Construction 101 article here.

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