San Luis Obispo is home to beautiful countryside, a wonderful school (go ‘Stangs!), and a vibrant, bustling downtown area. So, it is no wonder why so many people are looking to settle in this wonderful Central California community. With the influx in population, there is less and less space for original custom homes that still have a personal touch.

Many people turn to architects to create the home of their dreams. Whether they want to remodel their home, build a brand new home, or create improvements on existing structures, having an architect design and draft plans for your home is crucial in the construction process.

While it seems like a no-brainer to have an architect on the job, there are still plenty of mistakes that people make when they are hiring an architect. Michael Smith Architect has seen plenty of mistakes and mishaps occur during our many years designing houses in San Luis Obispo and the surrounding Central Coast area. If you want to avoid some of the common mistakes that we are going to be discussing, be sure to hire one of the best, most experienced contractors in San Luis Obispo: Michael Smith Architect.

For more information about Michael Smith and our wonderful architecture team, be sure to visit our website or call us today for a free consultation at 805-220-9146. With over 30 years of experience, you can trust Michael Smith Architect — call today to learn more.

1. Hiring Your Friends

No matter how good of an architect your friend is, the professional relationship will be greatly strained by the casualness and comfort of your friendship — and that stress goes both ways. Friends are friends because they listen and can offer advice from a distance; when you have a friend design and draw plans for your new remodel in San Luis Obispo, they may not put the same amount of effort into it as they would with a stranger simply because they know you and are more comfortable.

Another issue with hiring your friends is that they may not have the experience or expertise you need in order to complete your architectural plans. While they may be your best friend, they won’t be your best architect. Stick to hiring someone who can provide all of the services you need for a fair, honest price.

2. Choosing the Lowest Bidder

Just because the price is too good to be true does not mean you should hire that architect or architectural firm. At Michael Smith Architect, we are big fans of the phrase “you get what you pay for.” When someone lowballs a quote or estimate for your architectural design or plans, you might think it is a screaming deal that is unbeatable. In reality, that architect is probably scheming up a whole coterie of loopholes and catchalls that will eventually run up unforeseen costs that weren’t present during the estimate process — how convenient!

In order to avoid an architect-related nightmare, be sure to do some serious consideration as to why an architect or a firm quoted such a low price. Do not be afraid to ask questions and demand to see how any unforeseen costs will be charged. The important thing to remember is that your home or commercial building is an investment, and you shouldn’t cut costs in the very design of it.

3. Separating the Construction Team from the Architect

Architects just draw plans, and contractors just follow plans…right? Actually, that statement couldn’t be any farther from the truth. If you want to avoid a logistical nightmare that may involve countless revisions, be sure to keep your architect and your construction team on the same page — literally. If you are looking at early sketches or blueprints, make sure that your contractor or construction engineer is able to offer input to the architect. If you are on a budget, having the architect work side-by-side with the head contractor or engineer will ensure that the proper expectations are set.

4. Using a Pre-existing Plan

If you walk into an architect’s office and they start handing you a series of different buildings to choose from, you are making a mistake. Architecture is an art form that combines function, aesthetics, and utility. You want to make sure that whatever building you are going to be working or living in is specifically designed with you in mind. If you’re having to pick between three off-the-shelf blueprints, you should reconsider your architect.

A personalized design and blueprint, made after you have communicated your vision, interests, needs, and passions to an architect, can make all the difference when it comes time to live or work in your personalized designed space. While a cookie-cutter design plan may be cheaper and work for a short period of time, you will need a custom design to take into account everything you need from your building to satisfy you physically, mentally, and spiritually.

5. Not Choosing Michael Smith Architect

One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are trying to remodel or build a new home in San Luis Obispo is that they don’t choose Michael Smith Architect for their architectural design needs. With over 30 years of experience designing some of San Luis Obispo’s most beautiful homes, Michael Smith can meet any of your architectural needs. For more information, be sure to visit our website today or call us if you have any questions, comments or concerns.