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by Bruce Adibyazdi

If you are thinking about building a new home, or remodeling your existing one, you may not need a registered professional to prepare construction drawings. Most residential buildings do not need an architect, but always check with the local building inspector to make sure.

But even if you don't need an architect, you may want one. Following are a few examples of how an architect can help you in ways you may not have thought about.

One of the most important decisions you will make is siting your house. By siting, I mean finding the best position on your site to locate the house, and then designing around that location.

Factors to consider are views, sun angles, prevailing breezes, existing vegetation, topography, building setbacks and creating a sense of arrival.

By analyzing these factors and looking at the advantages each brings to a home, your architect can "marry" your home to your site.

Through this process, you can avoid having problems such as having a sunroom on the north side of your house, where the sun hardly ever shines.

You may already have a preconceived notion of what your dream house is, and what all the features need to be. Or you may think you need a large addition to your existing home to make it more livable.

By profession, architects are problem solvers. One of the things an architect can do is look at all the features you think you need, and organize them so that some spaces can be more efficient, possibly making some spaces dual-purpose.

It could be that just reorganizing your existing house allows you to reclaim some space that was not being used. This type of thinking could save you a substantial amount of money in new construction.

One of the things architects do for commercial clients is help them get construction bids and negotiate their contracts with building contractors.

Using standard American Institute of Architect contracts, all three parties owner, architect and contractor have responsibilities in the construction process, all designed to protect the owner's best interest.

For example, you and your architect may have selected a certain type of windows for your house. The builder may have other options available, but you need to be sure that the standard sizes and construction quality match the design.

The builder and architect can work out these kinds of issues without sacrificing the design or quality.

Some people see their home as the place they live, others see a home as a personal statement about their values. Your architect can make a three-bedroom ranch more livable by keeping the glare of the west sun off your television, or help you make a personal statement by creating a piece of sculpture with your house.

Either way, an architect can help you make the most of your home.

(Bruce Adibyazdi, AIA, is a partner with Butler, Rosenbury & Partners in Springfield.)

INSET CAPTION:

By analyzing location factors, your architect

can 'marry'

your home to

your site.[[In-content Ad]]

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