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Writing the Brief
Whether you use the services of an architect or hope to carry through a project yourself, you need to think through the basics:
• write notes, doodle, take photos, collect pictures from magazines .... anything that helps get down on paper all the ideas and images that express how you would like your space to be.• consider how you want to live/work in your new space, note lighting need, heat level etc.• consider what links you need to other spaces, draw flow charts, maps,routes• state what is most important to you - light? budget? speed of building? style? environment?• As your design ideas become more detailed you need to work in more of these notations. • Develop your aspirations, and only then look at your site to marry hopes to reality - because If you approach it the other way round you may become stuck on physical restrictions before your main aims set the pace.
An architect can help greatly at this stage - they enjoy building castles in the air , but at the same time they have the experience to distil the possible as well as expand on your first ideas.
The possible just might exceed your expectations.
If you do employ an architect it is best to bring them in at this first stage or you may miss a valuable contribution to the basic concept.
Architects reckon on saving their fee in design benefit to you, but this is hard to prove unfortunately!