Looking Through the Oaks: The Hunt for an Architect

Posted on October 07, 2014 by 6 | 0 Comments

*All pictures posted below are gorgeous designs by Chris Tippett of McAlpine Tankersley* Hey friends! Hope you are well! Last time I checked in we left off with a general overview of the our property. I loved introducing you to our project and am anxious to get the ball rolling on it! I have had a few friends ask when we plan to break ground. Our plan as of now is to break ground in about a year. We met with our architect (more on that later) the other day to begin the "planning" process. We really want to take this whole process slowly to be sure it is done the right way. We only have one shot to build a home we plan to be in forever so we want to take our time so we end up with an efficient home that will serve our needs for a long time to come. [caption id="attachment_13175" align="aligncenter" width="400"]neutral-home-front-view-l This gorgeous home is one of Chris' projects in Mountain Brook. It may look familiar to some of you...it was featured in Southern Living recently[/caption]


We began the architect hunt in June. Before Wright and I met he built the home we live in now so this isn't a completely foreign process to him. I have never done anything like it before. We are nervous, but excited to be going through this together. Hopefully we will make a great team and will agree on most things! Please say a prayer for us to have patience with each other during this process ;) The thought of building the home that we will still be living in 50 years from now (God willing) is overwhelming to say the least. We wanted a very efficient home with intention behind every space. We knew this would be our one and only shot building and we didn't want to look back one day and have regrets about the design. [caption id="attachment_13182" align="alignleft" width="1000"]13173931034e85d2cf1076a This home is located in Palmetto Bluff in South Carolina and was designed as a vacation home for a large family. I swoon at the sight of it.[/caption]

After working with the designers at the studio for a while, I’ve picked up lots of design tips and wisdom! It’s fun to hear the “behind the scenes” scoop on our industry! One thing the girls are always hammering into our clients is how crucial a talented architect is when it comes to new construction or major renovations! Below are some tips to remember:

  1. A draftsman is NOT an architect. (Just because someone knows CAD, Revit, or their way around a drafting table- it does not mean they possess the knowledge and creativity that an architect does.)
  2. An interior designer (though fun and fabulous) is not an architect. There’s a reason why our entourage includes a number of talented architects--- we go hand in hand. In addition, an architect is NOT an interior designer… oh look at me- getting off task. We can touch on that at a later date!
  3. Aside from your children’s education and happiness, an architect is your BEST financial investment because your home is your greatest financial investment!
  4. Don’t you dare order those plans off of the internet. Like ever. Just don’t do it okay?  Okay. Glad we had that talk!
[caption id="attachment_13181" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]13173931034e85d2cf1a3b0 I call this outdoor living at its finest.[/caption] With all that being said we knew we needed an architect with a lot of experience and one who wouldn't be shy when giving us his or her opinion! I had gotten to know Chris Tippett, with McAlpine Tankersley,  through Ashley so we gave him a call and he came out to the land to give us his thoughts. Watching Chris look at the land and immediately start giving us ideas of what we could do was such a fun moment. My brain doesn't work that way so being in the company of someone who is brilliant at what they do is such a fun and organic experience. We left the meeting and I knew in my heart Chris was our man. Wright did too. We emailed Chris to tell him we were going with him and I asked if there was anything he needed from us before our first initial meeting. He asked for a program. A program......hmmmm...I thought to myself, "what the heck is a program"? I asked Ashley and Jess and both of their eyes got huge. Great, this should be interesting. They explained that is was a document outlining your wants and needs in a new home. When they were in school these were so detailed you included where you wanted light sockets. I began sweating. Aside from my Pinterest boards I didn't know what I really wanted in a home. [caption id="attachment_13180" align="aligncenter" width="1000"]13173931024e85d2ceec312 I wouldn't mind sipping coffee on this porch in the mornings![/caption] Fortunately for me, Martha Ann had a program she let me use as my guide. It wasn't nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be once I got started on it. There were some questions that tripped me up. "Do you prefer morning or evening light in the living room"?  I mean, I don't know?!?! It's questions like these I take to the lovely ladies I work with. I just ask them and let them tell me :) So, in my spare time Wright and I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest and Houzz searching for inspiration. It is slightly overwhelming, but also super fun! I am not naïve. I realize that this is the easy part of the process. Right now it is all fun and games. Things will start getting real eventually, but right now I am enjoying researching designs and ideas. I find myself making mental notes in our current house when I go about my daily business...things, I like, love or hate. [caption id="attachment_13179" align="aligncenter" width="800"]2013-09-16_0003 Here is the floor plan for the Palmetto Bluff home. This is such a fun design and so unique.[/caption]   If you would like to read more about the Palmetto Bluff home click here! We had our first "real" meeting with Chris the other day. I can't wait to tell you all about it.....in my next post ;) Until next time! rebecca      

Posted in About Us, Behind the Scenes, Inspiration, Looking Through the Oaks



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