Frequently Asked Questions for HPD Architecture

Over the years at HPD Architecture, we have experienced many remodels and rebuilds. While every architecture and interior design project is unique with different challenges and solutions, at the same time, there are common questions that our clients often ask either before or during a remodel, new build or renovation.

We’ve gathered some of the most frequently asked questions below and invite you to send in your own using the form on the Contact Us page.

Questions Asked Before a Build

Whether you are planning to design and build a brand new house or refresh the interior design of a single room there are questions to ask before the project begins that will ensure that everything goes smoothly.

What do I need to know about choosing an architect?

This is a great question and one that we discuss in detail our Best Architect in Dallas post. The key takeaway is to approach finding the right architect for you as if you were searching for a partner on a dating site. It’s a given that you will narrow down your selection depending on the quality of their past work but you’ll be spending an awful lot of time together. It’s important that you have chemistry and that you are confident and comfortable in their company.

What questions should I ask an architect before designing a house?

We often receive phone calls from homeowners looking for information about what to expect when designing their new dream home or renovating their current one. Before we can start sketching your gourmet kitchen or new master suite, we need to gather some information.

Please read Questions to Ask an Architect before designing a house where we go over each question in detail.

What if my requirements are simple?

To ease your mind, I’m NOT the type of architect who insists on over-the-top design. I’m focused on solving your problem, not getting published. I will give my input on where I think simple improvements can be made, but those will be related to buildability, cost, material lead time, and maintenance of the home. Aesthetics matter, but only to the level that’s important to you. At the end of the day we want this home to work for you, be comfortable to live in, and a good investment.

How can I find out if a property has renovation restrictions?

Different properties have a funny way of hiding restrictions that can keep you from adding a second story or building an expansion. With a home you have had for a while there may not be much you can do but knowing what potential roadblocks exist might be a deal-breaker on purchasing a property you plan to renovate.

You will want to investigate the property on three levels: County Appraisal District, City Zoning and Property Survey. Find out more about these in our Renovations Road Blocks post.

 

Should I be my own contractor?

Hiring a general contractor (GC) has its pros and cons, just as being your own GC has its pros and cons. We, as architects, have participated in many projects built by contractors and quite a few by homeowners.  We have written about the important points to consider when making this decision in our post: To Be or Not Be Your Own Contractor.

Questions Asked During a Design or Build

During the build or redesign, you may wonder about the process. For example, now that the project is underway, what happens when you want to change specifications in some way?

What do I need to know about choosing an architect?

This is a great question and one that we discuss in detail our Best Architect in Dallas post. The key takeaway is to approach finding the right architect for you as if you were searching for a partner on a dating site. It’s a given that you will narrow down your selection depending on the quality of their past work but you’ll be spending an awful lot of time together. It’s important that you have chemistry and that you are confident and comfortable in their company.

Questions About Maintenance and Improvements

Now you have your beautiful new house. What can you do to maintain and improve it on a daily basis.

How can I clean and disinfect my home without damaging surfaces?

Especially now, in times of the pandemic, it’s important to know how to keep your home germ-free and clean while at the same time, not damaging the different surfaces of your home.

Cleaning and disinfecting bathroom tile is quite different from doing the same to your beautiful walnut kitchen table. View our Surfaces Cleaning Guide to find out how to clean and disinfect without damage.

I have a few DIY projects in mind. Do you have any advice before I start?

Even after designing your own home and having it built to spec, once you have moved in and have lived in the property for a few months, you might decide that there are improvements that you want to make. Having seen many homeowners DIY projects both good and bad, our advice here is to focus on those improvements that will enhance the value of the home. You can read more tips here: 5 Tips for DIY Home Improvement Projects.