Ranches and Ramblers

Atomic Ranch Magazine

Many people wonder what architects do and why they should be hired. There are a lot of books and magazines these days where people question hiring an architect especially with home design. Many people wonder what does an architect do? Why can’t I do that myself? What do I need an architect for anyway? I understand these thoughts. I feel the same way about my house, my car, my hobbies etc.

The more people learn about their houses and architecture, the more people want to do it themselves. You don’t need an architect to build a deck for yourself. You don’t need an architect to surf the internet for midcentury furniture. Most people who read Atomic Ranch magazine are better experts on midcentury that a majority of architects are. The more a person learns about something the more expertise they have  No one knows your house better than you do.

For example, let’s talk about midcentury architecture specifically ranches and ramblers. Many of us grew up in one and have fond memories of our houses, our families and our lives. Some of us are all too bored with them because we have been looking at them for a long time and have overlooked their original purpose. There are a lot of them around especially in my neighborhood. They were the American dream. They are I guess the “common man” house. You don’t have to have hired an architect to live in one. You don’t need millions of dollars to own one. You don’t have to be a licensed engineer to reroof one. You don’t have to consult a landscape architect to plant a flower garden in the front yard of one. I know because I own one. They are pretty simple houses with open floor plans. Still charming after all these years especially since the trees have had 50 years to grow up around them.  

So why hire an architect to help you renovate yours? You may believe that you are an expert. I just need a little help to get from point A to point B.” Why should I pay someone to do this for me? With some people it isn’t difficult to get them inspired about their house. I have had some consultations that I have turned the owners on to Atomic Ranch magazine and suggested where the addition might go and never heard from them again. Not even a thank you for the free magazine. I assume they found a builder and did it themselves without my help. It can be as simple as that for some owners. But for others, the crowded stair and small entry need work, the kitchen needs expanding, they have two bedrooms and need 3 and/or the exterior is outdated. They love the unique nature of their houses but don’t know how to update a 70 year house without destroying the original charm. That is why you hire an architect.

As an architect I feel that my primary job is to inspire and bring expertise to a project. If I fail to do that, I have failed at my job. An architect can help you bring life and usefulness back into your tired and dated midcentury home. An architect can inspire with an idea that you may have never thought of before. An architect can pull all of your ideas together into a cohesive whole.

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