Building Your Dream Home

Building your dream home can be exciting, but it can also be scary. Working with an architect that you trust and appreciate can make all the difference in keeping those fears in check.

Jennifer Weddermann, AIA, the owner of Weddermann Architecture, PLLC, in Tacoma shared a few tips with ShowCase Magazine recently on how to successfully navigate the process.

The first step she suggests may seem like the most obvious. Have a piece of land in mind. “No piece of land is truly flat, and no two sites are alike as far as access, neighbors, views, wind, or slope,” said Weddermann.

Before you buy the land or building, ask your architect to complete a feasibility study. Using online tools provided by cities and counties or even Google Earth, the study can determine setbacks, height limits, logical access, and even snow and wind load. According to Weddermann, “You’ll know up front if the land will work for your overall plan in terms of size and use.” Once the land is selected, your architect will work up a proposal for their scope of work. This is a good time to definitively determine the scale of your project, since this will translate into overall budget and architectural fees.

To communicate well during the design process, have visuals depicting what you like. At this early stage, it is important to think about the whole structure. The architect will need to know how you live and will come back with options for the layout.

Before permitting takes place, energy credits and materials should be considered as well as the selection of your general contractor. They can be a great resource for coordination with structural engineering and provide insight into products and techniques to save money.

Final steps include a thorough and critical review of the entire set of documents, a meeting with the general contractor to ensure you can afford the building before you submit for permits, and then periodic site visits by your architect.

“Your architect acts as a steward of your money throughout the building process,” added Weddermann.

For Additional Information
Weddermann Architecture
weddermann.com

LYNN CASTLE