Anglo Celt Property Feature, September 2017
Whether on a new house, house extension or renovation, engaging an RIAI registered architect will save you time and money and add value. If you have decided to make changes to your home, you must ask yourself some questions. Good design is a process that evolves directly from your aspirations and the unique context and specific constraints of your home. The more your architect can understand your lifestyle, your likes, your dislikes, the better equipped we will be in making your project work for you. What are your spatial requirements? What is the atmosphere and character of your completed home? What time of day do you use particular rooms? Are there particular rooms you don’t use or don’t function as you require? How much can you afford to spend? Can the energy efficiency of your home be improved? The answers to the above will help establish your ‘brief’. The Design Brief is crucial, it is the framework for the whole project, a concise document with all information relevant to the project; budget, ideas, needs, wants, timeframe, style, atmosphere.
A fundamental part of your brief is of course, budget. Be realistic how much you can afford to spend, and stick to it. Be sure to factor in contingency, typically around 5-10%. It is vital to have a sense at an early stage what can be achieved within your available budget, working with your architect can establish this. Good design is not about money, it’s about ideas, your budget should not constrict you. You may however have to prioritise certain aspects of the design. Your brief is key to having a clear understanding of your needs, wants and desires.
When extending you should prioritise the building fabric, finishes and fittings all have a lifespan, investing in the elements that make up the building will achieve more long-term benefits. Look to introduce as much natural light as possible not only to the extension but deep into the original house. Invest in good quality glazing and rooflights. Glazing will also help to establish a link between house and gardens. Incorporating high levels of insulation and airtightness will lead to long term financial savings and will greatly enhance the comfort of your home.
The best architecture often emerges from situations with limitations: contextual, spatial or budgetary. Building projects can be daunting, but an RIAI registered architect can bring a wealth of experience to ensure your project runs as smooth as possible and you can enjoy the process.
Ronan Fitzpatrick MRIAI