Architect-Hiring: The Payment Scheme

Probably, the only thing that can be harder than choosing the right architect to do the job of designing your dream home is determining how you would pay him for his services. There are many payment options for architects, and some work for specific situations better than others do.

So, why is it difficult to identify what you should expect to pay an architect before he manages to begin to give you his services? What exactly is the difference between the various types of payment options for architects, such as hourly rates, a fixed fee, and the payment through percentage method? Exactly How does hiring an architect costs, and what particular payment option will work best for your needs?

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In answering the question “How much does hiring an architect cost” it is good to note that there is no universal form of payment method for all architectural fees. However, equipping you with the right information on the details regarding the different forms of payment can help you make an informed choice on how you will pay for the services of your architect depending on your specific situation.

Cost of percentage construction. If you decide to go with paying your architectural fees by the means of giving off a percent of the total cost of construction, you would most likely give the architect between eight and fifteen percent of the total construction cost as payment. So for instance, if the total cost of a particular project amounts to about $100,000 to finish, then you would most likely pay approximately $8,000 to $15,000 for architectural fees.

So how much does hiring an architect cost? In this aspect and why the price range is large, it is mainly due to the reputation of the architectural firm or of the architect who will be commissioned for the project. If the architect is young and is still collecting professional experience, his charges will most likely be smaller compared to more established firms. In addition, a younger architect will probably produce better output since he would care about quality more than money. On the other hand, established firms might do a better job because of its extensive experience.

Hourly payment

The concept is the one that we are familiar with: you pay the architect per hour that he worked on the project. You will agree on an hourly rate, and the payment will be for how many hours it took to complete the job. If you fear that the architect might slow down the progress of his work on purpose, you can place control measures so that you can protect yourself. You can either establish a not-to-exceed amount in your contract, or a not-to-exceed percentage of the cost of construction.

Fixed fees

A fixed fee is basically an exact amount written in the contract as the amount to be paid to the architect. This is usually the preferred method since it helps them identify exactly how much they would need to budget. On the other hand, architects try to veer away from this scheme until they have been given an exact explanation of what the project will be. The fear here is for the architect, since they may agree to be paid a specific amount, but it might not sufficiently justify the effort in finishing the project.

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Contemporary and Modern Home Design: Are They the Same?

If you have been in the world of design for some time, or even if you are just one of those people who look for houses, it would be undeniable that you have most likely heard the words “contemporary” and “modern” used in order to describe different aspects of furniture, architecture, and generally all home styles and designs. Many seem to not care as to what these two words refer to. However, if you are chiefly concerned about what design you wish to incorporate in your home, you will need to determine first the difference between modern home design and Contemporary Home Design.

Both the contemporary and the modern home designs dominate both architecture and interior design. However, buyers who are looking at designs and even experts in the field of design are sometimes confused with the two terms, often concluding that they are the same thing since they almost look the same.

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Contemporary Home Design refers to all styles or forms of architecture which are currently being produced. The style that exists today is what we consider as contemporary. This form of home design is extremely versatile and dynamic, and can have a multitude of variations depending on the place, culture, and function of the space being designed. In addition, Contemporary Home Design is always in the process of change, which means that it does not stay the same for a long time, and no specific form of style can be directly attributed to it. The contemporary style is basically a mixture of all previously existing home design styles merged together and creatively mixed in order to fit the need of current society.

Although contemporary design always changes, there are certain aspects which can tell it apart from modern home design. Contemporary architecture uses solid walls that are randomly spaced, in contrast to the usual whitewash appearance. It also has a carefully-crafted cantilever which is normally balanced on the building’s other side. The only things that this form of architecture has in common with its modern counterpart are that it has a flat roof and a box-like feel to it.
On the other hand, modern home design is a specific home design style which features design inspired by the styles of the pre-Industrial Revolution era. This is usually connected to the age of the rise of machines and of technology in general, where things were designed to look just the same as the technology that was being developed at the time, mostly during the 1920s to the 1950s. However, it is also considered to be the style that can describe all the existing forms of home design during the span of the entire 20th century.

One of the reasons why the words “modern” and “contemporary” are used interchangeably, perhaps due to some confusion, is because some of the common designs and styles attributed to modern design still exist today and are mostly incorporated with contemporary designs. This constant mixture of the two not only leads to confusion, but it also has the capability of changing the face of contemporary design once again, since, as discussed previously, contemporary design always changes. Possibly after twenty years, an entirely different look of contemporary design will emerge.

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A Look At Modern Trends In Kitchen Design

Speak to any interior designer and they’ll tell you of the many rooms inside the house, the kitchen is prone to absorbing most of the dirt that gets accumulated on any given day. Given this, re-designing the kitchen is often considered several times, but the many trends in kitchen design can make any designing plans a bit of a hassle. Nevertheless, some trends in kitchen design are worth looking into as a number of them can be made to last even as others have long been forgotten. This will depend mainly on how the various trends in kitchen design are executed, and how the homeowner gets to maintain them. At present, there are at least five different trends in kitchen design that have become highly preferred. One of these is the so-called open floor plan. As its name suggests, an open floor type of kitchen involves access to the other nearby rooms without the need to pass through a hallway or a door.


An open floor kitchen offers a number of advantages. Chief of these is that it allows people to conveniently move from the kitchen to another area of the house. This is especially true in the case of kitchens placed near the living room where homeowners can interact with their guests even as they are busy cooking. The open floor kitchen type has spurred the development of several other trends in kitchen design. A good example of this would be that which makes use of lesser upper cabinets. Essentially, in this type of kitchen design, the walls get taken down, and this leaves no room for the installation of hanged cabinets. Many kitchen lovers prefer this type of design as the wall cabinets can be replaced with drawers, a number of which come with a set of pullouts. Additionally, windows can be placed on the walls to allow natural light to come in from the outside.

Speaking of lighting, previous trends in kitchen design make use of just one single lighting fixture usually set in the center of the kitchen. This is no longer the case with the latest trends in kitchen design, especially with the development of the lighting plan type of kitchen style. The rationale here is that the kitchen is seen as a work area. As such, there is a need to provide adequate illumination in this part of the house, placed in various strategic areas.

The universal design is one other kitchen style that has gained prominence in recent years. As the family structure has continued to evolve, the need to consider trends in residential interior design where every family member can gain easy kitchen access has become imperative.Children, the elderly, and those with disabilities are the primary considerations in developing the universal kitchen design. As such, of the many trends in kitchen design, the universal plan is the only one that places a premium on wider pathways, built-in open spaces beneath the kitchen sink, and the use of levers instead of the traditional water faucet.

One other emerging kitchen design trend is the use of quartz when installing countertops. Granite-based countertops remain popular, but quartz is slowly catching up. This is expected since quartz, especially when bound in colored resin, has been found to be more durable  apart from being heat and scratch-resistant.Some quartz models are also known to carry anti-microbial ingredients. Thus, of the many trends in kitchen design, those calling for quarts counter tops offer a higher safety level, especially for those who often stay in the kitchen area.

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Getting Approved For Home Improvement Loans

After awhile the home can seem drab and out of date. When this happens, many homeowners decide it’s time to do some remodeling and home improvement. Most rely on home improvement loans to add value and comfort to the dwelling. If you qualify, the process of getting a loan can be easy. The following information is designed to show you how to get approved and explain how this process works.

Understanding Loans

Remodeling the home requires money, and unless you have some put back for that purpose you will have to rely on a bank or other lending institution for financing. Typically, these institutions require a defined purpose for the funds and will lend money for a specific period of time. This is generally for a shorter time than the average mortgage. It is not uncommon for homeowners to invest in monthly payments for five to ten years in order to make improvements to their homes.

Equity in the home often serves as collateral for such loans and an individuals personal financial standing determines terms and interest rate.

Understanding the Project

The initial step in getting a loan to improve the home is to know the scope of the project one wants to accomplish. You are much better off if you can make a precise estimate of the cost. It is not a good idea to go into this without a specific amount of money in mind. This is the reason a reputable contractor’s estimate is so valuable.

It is possible to receive a loan to upgrade the home to add a room or wing, improve the landscape or any other project that will add value to the premises.


It is the equity that builds up over years of making mortgage payments that makes getting the financing needed to improve one’s property relatively easy. To determine your home’s equity, subtract the balance on your mortgage from its current value. During the early years, when your loan is new, the bulk of your payment goes to the interest. Over time that changes and you gain more equity each month. As home values rise in the area in which you live the equity rises, as well. The security required for remodeling loans is this equity. Be sure you have enough equity for the project before securing financing.

Financial Reliability

Although there may be enough home equity, responsible homeowners would never consider adding another burden to their financial life without ensuring they have the ability to repay. A second loan payment can be devastating to someone who is already struggling to pay a mortgage. Additionally, lenders look at qualifications before lending money. Even though credit history is not always looked at when using equity as security, a strong credit score is beneficial when making an application.

Bad Credit

Bad credit does not always preclude securing a loan when other valuables can be added as security. A cosigner or offering personal property can help. Specialty lenders are another option, but remember this generally means paying higher interest rates.

Credit Line

A home equity line of credit is another option that offers flexibility to a home remodeling loan. The open ended nature of this financing strategy allows you to use only what you need and start the repayment process immediately. It also lets you make major improvements to the home in incremental steps.

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5 Reasons Slatted Blinds are Better than Curtains

5-reasons-slatted-blinds-are-better-than-curtainsIt’s not uncommon to see modern houses and apartments fitted with window blinds instead of regular old curtains, but why has this trend gained momentum? Many people clearly think slatted blinds are superior to curtains or they wouldn’t be using them, so let’s take a look at five of the big reasons blinds are better.

1. Control Over Light Levels

Curtains basically have two ‘settings’, open and closed. You can have them open just a little to let a small amount of light in, but it’s really not an ideal solution and it will leave the room with very uneven light levels. A blind, by contrast, can be adjusted to let in any amount of light desired. Whether you need to let the sun in to see some delicate work or you want to keep the light down so you can see the television screen, blinds can do that. They can also do everything in between, so if you want a gentle light for an afternoon of reading, it’s a simple matter of a quick adjustment.

2. Lots of Variety

Slatted blinds come in all sorts of makes for all sizes of window. They are manufactured in a wide variety of materials from PVC to wood to metal, and a range of styles as well. Although curtains do come in numerous materials and patterns, they pale in comparison to the customization choices that blinds offer. Consequently blinds can be used in any room, whilst the nature of curtains means they are often quickly damaged in rooms like the kitchen or bathroom where there can be a lot of steam, heat, and splashed water.

3. Easy to Clean

Curtains are very often prone to picking up dirt, dust and fur, and they are heavy things that are difficult to clean. By contrast, slatted blinds are extremely easy to keep clean. They do not retain much dirt to begin with, and what dust they do accumulate can be easily wiped away without even having to take the blinds down from the window. They are also much lighter than typical curtains, so if you do need to take them down it is a much less daunting task.

4. They are Safer

Curtains aren’t all that dangerous in most cases, but there is one exception that is a serious consideration: fire. Curtains are often fire hazards even with the best standards, and the treatments used to reduce their flammability can carry their own risks, such as the presence of potentially toxic materials. Blinds, on the other hand, are generally made of materials that are not flammable in the first place and as they tend not to stretch from floor to ceiling, even those ones which can catch fire pose a lesser risk.

5. Blinds are Visually Compact

There is a lower limit to the size a given curtain can be once it’s hung up. You can tie it to one side but it will still be hanging there taking up space at the sides of the window, and in a smaller room this can have a dramatic shrinking effect. Blinds have the opposite effect. They are compact, even sleek objects that remain unobtrusive no matter how much light they are blocking or letting through, helping a room to feel larger and more open.

There are always places where curtains will feel more appropriate than blinds, but for many rooms in many houses, blinds are the best option on offer for a variety of reasons such as the five outlined above.

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