Building or Renovating a House Can Be A Daunting Task or A Great Adventure
For most people, a major renovation will be the largest project, in terms of time and expense that they will undertake in their lifetime. Although it does get easier after the second or third project, should you be a serial renovator, or you do this sort of thing for a living, it can be a pretty distressing and daunting proposition. While the simple solution might be to hire professionals to work out details and build the project, there are reasons that you might want to remain more closely involved in the design and construction process.
The most important reason to participate is that for the dwelling to be a comfortable and nurturing home for you and your family, it must be the reality of what you envision. You must participate in the process from conception, and remain a design contributor throughout the project. There will be many times during construction when an unexpected possibility in design or materials reveals itself. These are the creative moments that will make the home yours.
It's not unusual for the most successful re-modelers to spend a year or two thinking about what they like and want in a home. Accumulating a portfolio of visual examples from magazines, photos, and brochures will be invaluable in communicating your ideas before you have a chance to learn the terminology used by construction professionals. While reading books on architecture and design are helpful, there is nothing better than visits to successfully finished houses, local material suppliers, and buildings being renovated so that you can see and touch the materials that make a house a home. Once you have gathered enough material to adequately describe what you hope to build, you're ready to begin the search for an architect, or if building codes allow, a competent and reputable builder- hopefully, with a strong sense of design.