As a residential architect, I spend a lot of time helping clients understand the decisions they need to make. So much goes into a home project, at the beginning it’s hard to realize how many choices are involved. Those choices are in the context of a style, budget and the environment. It’s a one time opportunity to build a dream home – the pressure is on. At first it can seem like the most amazing shopping trip ever: Plumbing fixtures, lighting, tile, flooring, countertops, and appliances. But then the amount of different options available becomes clear and often clients wonder: “Where do I start? How do I pull everything together? The tub I love costs $5,000, and that’s my entire fixture allowance for the Master Bath. I need to pick windows too? How big should my house be? Wow, I don’t know if I’m going to have fun with this after all. . . “
And on top of it all, creating a green project is a priority. How do you understand what makes one product green and another product not? Understanding the nuances of different products can be mind boggling for someone who is not accustomed to making selections.
There are strategies for making the decision process easier, and my goal is to help provide some guidelines to keep your project fun.
Here are some of the important things to think about at the start of the design and selection process:
- Know yourself. – Think about how you respond to the built environment. Are you very temperamental about everything being perfect, or are you easy going? Let your team know how you feel; they should strive to suit you.
- Give yourself time (or not). – Do you need a lot of time to think thinks over, or do you easily settle on the first thing you like and not obsess over other choices?
- Find the right salespeople – A salesperson that understands your style and personality can make shopping fun. Take the time to find people you enjoy working with.
- Understand your architect’s, designer’s and builder’s role in making choices. – Consider how much time of your own you want to spend making selections, and how professional can supplement or guide your efforts.
- Understand the driving goals behind your project. – For example, if meeting a cost conscience budget is very important to you, don’t fight that goal, but strive to work with it. If building a green home is your highest priority, then be prepared to keep that in mind, and let that be the guiding principle for all choices.
With these things in mind, one of the things I tell my clients is to pre-shop. Go to showrooms, open houses and look in magazines without the pressure of making any decisions. Just enjoy what you see, and digest the variety available. Set aside some time to just HAVE FUN! DO NOT CHOOSE ANYTHING at first. If you happen to fall in love with something – that’s great, having one or two great selections can provide a spring board for the rest of the project. Call it reverse psychology if you like. Less pressure means you are freer to identify with the ideas and products that are a true reflection of who you are.
Posted: 6/10/2011 8:49:45 AM by
Mary Kestner | with 0 comments