Residential Architecture and Your Washington DC or Maryland Home

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Residential architecture is easily defined as any architecture intended for a residential and non-commercial space. “Residential” includes apartment buildings, mansions, tiny homes, townhomes, and more. The styles can be anything from gothic revival to modern or minimalist. For the most part, if you can dream it, it can be a residential architectural design. 

The most important part of residential architecture is to ensure that the homeowner/resident has all of their needs met and as many desires incorporated as possible. Residential architecture is an art form wherein the designer creates a functional and residential-safe design. 

While prices may vary due to unforeseen circumstances during the designing and building processes, companies that are good at their jobs, like Winthorpe Design and Build, can sit down with you and work out remarkably accurate estimates.

What’s the Difference Between Residential and Commercial Architecture?

While there is a lot of overlap in residential and commercial architecture, there are a few concerns and design requirements that are unique to the residential design process. Because of this, skilled residential architects are in high demand, which can drive up their prices. 

Residential architects have to think about more specific building codes, safety concerns, and matters relating to functionality. Floorplans, outlets, plumbing, and light fixture placements are far more prevalent in a residential architectural design’s functionality than in commercial architecture.

Residential architects also need better social and communication skills than commercial architects. One of the most critical aspects of designing residential properties is sitting down with the client and helping them paint a clear picture of what they want. From there, you must iron out the details by explaining to them why certain things won’t work and providing satisfactory solutions. 

Residential Architecture Needs to be More Dynamic

Each client is unique and will have different requirements and expectations for their unique residential design. Because of this, residential designers need to have a broad range rather than just being a one-trick pony. Many architects get used to building a particular style, which seeps into other projects. 

Beauty, both interior and exterior, are an essential aspect of a residential architect’s job. Architects and designers need to have passion for their work. When designers genuinely love their job, they can develop some fantastic ideas. But if the architect or designer is only in it for the money, they’ll end up drawing up a house that is no different from any other.

A good residential architect can work with nature rather than against it. Many commercial architects end up bulldozing terrain and flattening beautiful landscapes to make room for their buildings. Since a significant part of residential architecture is making it beautiful, only the least professional residential architect would destroy the beauty of nature to replace it with their own design.

The most famous example of an architect that incorporated nature into his designs is Frank Lloyd Wright. His Falling Water house incorporates itself into the natural bodies of water and cliffs around it so well that many regard it as an art statement rather than a building.

All good residential designers can incorporate the client’s requests into the build and seamlessly blend with any existing features. They should also be able to add in any structural requirements without disturbing the designs that make the client’s home ideal. 

Winthorpe Design and Build

Only skilled architects and designers can draw up high-quality builds. An inexperienced architect may design a house that looks nice, but they often lack functionality, personality, practicality, or some combination of these elements. Low-level architects also tend to have a harder time sticking to a budget and overcharge their clients for a sub-par build. 

Even if an architect designs decent homes, that doesn’t mean they have the first-hand experience required to make a design the construction team can actually build. While the end product is always a livable home, working with a residential architect often means going back and forth between them and the build team multiple times. It’s usually not until many days and hundreds of dollars later that they can finally agree. 

Then, when the architect and building team finally agree, it’s often so far off from the original design that the architect discussed with the client that it’s unrecognizable. If the client later decides to redo their build, which is likely if it doesn’t match their initial request, they have to pay the money and spend unnecessary time starting the process all over again.

That’s why we recommend working with a professional design-build team like the ones at Winthorpe Design and Build. Not only do we have decades of experience and learning, but we also work with our clients every step of the way to ensure that we stay within the budget and as close to their dream home design as possible. 

If you want to bypass the stress, wasted time, and overpriced cost of working with separate designing and building teams, then we welcome you to read our blogs. We can’t wait for you to experience our new process, which includes remote consultation and design services. Contact us to speak with us and get the process started.


We look forward to working with you!

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