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Reasons why people haven’t built their dream houses

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In my experience over the years working in the construction industry trying to create unique dwelling spaces for people, in my various roles, such as labourer, painter, to architectural designer, interior decorator, to supervision and being the main contractor, I have paid attention so much attention to detail as to what has contributed to a beautiful design blue print not living up to its expectations in terms of execution on the ground.

My involving roles have led to edifices standing out in locations where they are situated. Observing what has gone wrong on other neighbouring edifices which makes them not to have the various architectural design elements and bespoke finishes to stand out, I can outline reasons why people are not able to build their dream houses.

An architect or a designer can come out with a uniquely drafted edifice to suite the client’s demands and expectations, but where and how that blue print is executed is the defining moment for its beauty,

These are the reasons why the realization of that dream house might not come to reality.

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Recruitment.

I always say that every edifice is made up of various shapes of geometry and lines, designers always follow these in their blueprint design. But the final execution by the artisans on the ground is sometimes misrepresented by not paying attention to design details, for your edifice to come out well, representing the shapes that really define its beauty, you will have to be mindful of artisans you recruit to execute your blue prints, buildings have not look good because there have been incompetent masons, carpenters, steel benders, painters, tilers in short (cowboy builders) on projects who do not pay attention to detail.

Choices of materials.

A good contractor or an artisan on a project will know where to get quality and appropriate materials to execute a project with, an edifice has failed to meet its expectations, because choices of materials have been bad, it is either the contractor executing the project fails to identify, provide and work with quality material or the client has had disagreement over the choice of quality material with him and impose inferior cheaper ones to work with. It is required of every builder working on any architectural edifice to identify and propose appropriate materials and accessories to work with, some builders lack of exposure to materials and accessories and their reactions to conditions and aesthetics outlook make buildings not to have a dream outlook.

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Supervision and consultancy

As an architectural designer and a contractor, I have come into contact with clients, who just discuss what they want in a design, pay for it and then gone ahead with a contractor or artisans to execute the blueprint without the involvement of the designer, most at times in their bids to escape consultancy and supervisory charges, huge amounts of extra cost on these projects have always

come back to them, because there is either build and break scenario’s in execution of these projects, or huge renovation works after project completion in the nearest future.

Location.

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There have been very beautiful edifices cited at poor locations which do not compliment them, there are some building designs which do not suit some locations, some people imagine and work towards dream houses but they do not actually know about citing them at good locations, which should also be a dream location. Neighbourhoods and neighbours speak a lot about what will compliment that dream house you are building, architects and designers often put in efforts in designing dream houses for clients, only for those buildings to be cited at poor locations.

Budget.

It is very encouraging when clients walk into an architecture office with huge expectations of how they want their dream houses to be modelled, but some of the times both parties become disappointed after bill of quantities are raised. People travel to places walk through plush neighbourhoods, watch movies, read through catalogues, surf the internet all in search and admiration of beautiful architecture inculcating their findings into the minds of their architects as to how they want their dream houses to be built, most of the times they have no idea of how much finances it will cost them to bring those designs into reality.

My recent experience has been with a client who invited me home to discuss the design of a five bedroom one storey house for his wife, he hinted me on his wife’s love and addiction to watching historical movies, movies that portray medieval architecture style and her desire to have a house that relates, quickly I was able to deduce from the conversation what he wanted, he wanted a house with ornamental projections that is characteristic of historical components of buildings, such as decorative pillars, cornices, and window designs, arcs etc.

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After modelling the design, showing all the the historical components that they were desirous of and running cost on them, the financials put them off and the dream house my doctor client wanted for his wife was cut short, we had to settle for something else, the dream of a gothic style architecture was never built.

By Theophilus Dodzi 

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