What an Architect Can Do for You


If you are considering building a new house, everyone understands you are probably not going to build it yourself; rather, you are likely to hire someone to do that for you. An architect might not be the first person that comes to mind. Traditionally, you may think an architect merely creates blueprints to give to a contractor. In reality, we do much more.


Yes, architects are concerned with structure, floor plans, and finishes. This information will establish what it takes to build a house. It is the WHYs that result in the many decisions regarding floor plans, finish selections, and building placement of your residence that make it your home.


In fact, this effort is what we architects live for. This is our sweet spot that makes doing what we do for clients magical and fun, and shouldn’t designing your home be fun and enjoyable? Sure, there are some things that we all stress over, but this stress is self-imposed to get things right. Your house is to be your home, your place of rest, and your retreat. Get it right the first time for the long time. This is why we went to school, work the late hours, and sweat the details.


Home—this word brings all kinds of images and emotions to mind when you think of it.


House—this also brings to mind all kinds of images to mind when you think of it but probably not the same images as home.


That’s because the two are not the same.


A home is much more personal, more intimate, more you. What do you envision?  Do you picture a bright, warm kitchen or a cozy reading nook? Does it include images of your family members in a room?


A house is analytical and formal. You likely think of the exterior. Does your idea of a house include people, pets, or cars? A house is rather lonely, isn’t it?


Simply put, architects desire to design your house to be your home. Our process puts you in the picture, and this picture isn’t defined by the style of your house, be it Craftsman, Georgian, or Mediterranean. We aren’t talking style as defined in magazines and home tours but style as defined by you.


I have read that home is where they have to take you in. It’s a place of rest, security, and nourishment—physical, mental, and spiritual nourishment. This is best established when a home is about you and your family. Architects strive to do this for you as we consider your lifestyle, your wants, and your needs. Architecture is a very personal profession.


Should you have the opportunity to hire an architect for your residence, you will have the opportunity to get as personal and tailored an experience as you ever have in doing something as personal and tailored for you than ever before.


These are the types of questions that architects can use to tailor your house and make it your home:

  • How do you see your home being used?
  • What’s the frequency of events in your home, the scale of the events, and how long are they?
  • Do you entertain?
  • Do you get into the annual holidays?
  • Does your home host game nights?
  • Does your home have special places where you do things with your family?
  • What is the culture of your family?
  • What is the size of your family?
  • How old is your family?
  • Do you have marks on your door frames as your children have grown?
  • Do you have special routines?
  • Are you an outdoor person or a morning person? Are you quiet or outgoing?
  • Do you have any collections? (I once worked with a fellow who collected tanks – TANKS!)


Have you ever bought a suit? You know the experience. You can get off the rack, off the rack with tailoring, or custom tailored for you. While each is appropriate and can serve their intended purpose, which one is most specific to YOU?


Please don’t think architects just draw house plans. We do much more. We draw your home plans and, in doing so, consider everything and everybody that goes into just that.


Do you have plans for a new home? Give an architect the opportunity to show you how much it can really be yours. I predict you will be pleasantly surprised, and when folks ask you about it as they visit – and they will – you will have all the answers.


James “Monty” Stark, III, AIA

Stark is a founding principal at Hoy + Stark Architects and the current president of the Florida Association of the American Institute of Architects in Tallahassee. Headquartered in Tallahassee, the AIA represents the interests of more than 3,500 members in Florida. Members adhere to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assures the client, the public, and colleagues of an AIA-member architect’s dedication to the highest standards in professional practice.