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A Delhi-based homeowner loves the way her recently renovated home looks, but she also lets out a sigh recalling the back-breaking experience she had to go through when she first planned the renovation project. She tells me of her never-ending research on latest décor trends, types of furniture and fittings and then getting the little things sorted. If only I had someone to guide me, she says.
Her experience is hardly uncommon; building and designing a home in today’s busy times can be a strenous task. The fragmented and unorganized market makes it next to impossible to get the right products at the right price. Moreover, there are hundreds and thousands of products and the amount of information that one becomes flooded with in the process of going through them makes it impossible for one to take a decision.
Hiring someone to do the job, hence becomes imperative.
The importance of architects and designers who can help you understand the abundant information available, and assist you to make informed decisions is unquestionable. Architects come with their indepth knowledge about the industry and help you sail smoothly through the important journey of building your dream house, which in most cases, happens only once in a lifetime. The responsibility is huge and therefore, its advisable that one must consider various aspects before signing the contract for one’s house.
The first rule is to seek for recommendations.
First hand experiences do 50% of the job for you. Ask friends, family and relatives for leads. Look the web! There are websites that help you by giving leads for your specific needs- make optimum use of them. The point is to get as much information as possible through different sources available. It not only helps you understand if your creativity and ideas match, but also gives you a clarity on the background of the person you are trusting with something as intimate as your house. Seeing the kind of work they have done gives you an insight about the architect, and will help you explore more ideas for your house.
A thorough research sets the path right for going ahead.
Next, you must define your budget and timelines clearly as majority of the troubles lead from these two aspects! Constructing or decorating a house can be a long and expensive affair and we all have our budgets set which we do not wish to exceed. Hence, a situation wherein you’re forced to shell out more money than planned is not appreciated. Such dialogues between you and your architect should be done before you decide to start a project.
Don’t be in a hurry
You’ve waited long enough to build your dream house and a few more weeks won’t cause much difference. Be patient. Talk about all aspects and the minutest of details. Its important to discuss the latest trends in the industry and understand all possibilites before you decide what you want. Insist on as many meetings with the architect, go through designs and plans, and be thoroughly informed about what the architect has in mind and how well has he grasped your requirements.
It's important for the designer to understand your taste
From tastes to needs, it is different for everyone and it is important for the designer to understand you and how you want to see your house at the end. Before you actually go ahead and sign a contract with a designer, make sure you have a clear communication with them on all these aspects. Whether you want an overall contemporary look or something as specific as a black granite slab for your bar, it should be conveyed to the designer to help them visualise your house before they start work on it. Getting references from online home décor portals would be a good idea because you can show them what you exactly want.
Ask for a visual representation of the project FIRST!
Ask for a visual representation of the project before starting the work so that you and your architect or designer are at the same page. India, like any other country, has a few rules and laws while constructing a house that you should abide by. Understand the structure of the house beforehand so that you are not making mistakes that might lead you in some trouble later on.
If you have any specific needs, talk to your architect or designer before the contract is signed. You might need a wheelchair friendly house if you have an older person living with you or you would not want lighter shades on walls or furniture if you have kids in the house. All these details should be told to the person in charge so that the planning can be done accordingly. Also, maintenance is a very important issue. So, if your schedule does not allow you to give much time to your house, plan the décor accordingly.
In the end, if you feel you have found the right person to build or decorate your house, insist on a written contract. All the terms and conditions mentioned above should be clearly stated on paper to avoid any problems or hassles later.