(ARA) - When you make the decision to build a new home, there are a lot of things to consider. Among them, is the neighborhood right for you? What kind of lot do you want? Will you be close enough to work, school and shopping?
No matter where you end up, perhaps the most important decision you make will be who you choose as your architect. If you haven't worked with one before, you may be wondering whether your project really requires an architect, particularly if it will be your personal residence. According to the American Institute of Architects, the answer is yes.
The agency points out that using an architect is critical for any building project to be successful. The architect is the big picture person, and he or she will handle a number of duties. Among them, helping clients explore what appeals to them aesthetically and what they require functionally; coordinating teams of design, engineering and construction professionals; and sorting through the maze of building codes and zoning requirements to ensure projects are built the way they were intended.
Rebecca Jones of Chevy Chase, Md., knew all that going into her project. However, since she's an interior architect by profession, she thought she could design her dream home on her own. "Big mistake," says Jones. "I had photographed a house in Texas that I absolutely loved and thought I could replicate it on my own, but it didn't take long for me to realize I was in well over my head."
While the design of the home came naturally to her, translating her ideas into terms contractors, electricians and plumbers would understand did not. "When I realized I wasn't doing a good job in that department, I decided it was time to hire an architect. The person she chose for the job was Jack Arnold, the man who had designed that home in Texas she liked so much.
Arnold is known across the U.S. as an expert in European residential design. His success as an architect stems from both an academic and hands-on education that takes him from local construction sites to premier European museums. From his childhood years constructing forts and tree houses to his 30-year career as a noted architect, Arnold says he has always sought to create something that pleases the eye.
"I really liked his attention to detail, quality and sophistication," says Jones. "That's why I decided to hire him." After their initial consultation, Arnold put together a set of plans, and changes went back and forth via email until everyone was completely satisfied.
"It was a great collaboration," says Jones. "Jack pushed me to do things I never would have done on my own."
Jones" home has a Country English design with high peak ceilings, high arched windows, stone accents around the doors and windows and varied roof lines. The interior has a lot of natural light shining through.
"It was designed to be an empty nester's home, and everyone's needs have been taken into consideration," says Jones. "The master is on the first floor and has a separate sitting room with a small office for my husband right above it. The great room is configured right off the kitchen which makes it perfect for entertaining. There's a separate wing for my mother, who is 81 and will be moving in with us, and the home is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act throughout."
While the home Jones had built was custom, Jack Arnold also offers detailed plans for several luxury homes you may be interested in building. Each plan comes with numerous pages of elevations, schedules and specifications to give clients and their builders comprehensive direction on how to create the home they envision.
There are four portfolios available: Country French Classics, Old World Romantics, Dream Home or Cottages, and they are available for purchase online. Log on to www.jackarnold.com http://www.jackarnold.com to find the plan for your dream home.
Courtesy of ARAcontent