Most people reach me out with the intention of building beautiful contemporary homes, based on specific ideas they like and count with clear references of what they want: pictures from magazines, web, etc. In Costa Rica, most architects understand this style very well, but not most contractors. Including foreigners and locals. They see something different from the usual ( same old version of “neo colonnial” style ) and just like that they raise the price, due to their inexperience. Here is a proof of what happened in spite of having detailed renderings and blueprints.
Here’s an example. Anandakanda is a project that was rendered like this…
…and ended up being built like this.
In my opinion, the aesthetics have nothing to do with what my client asked for and payed for. By influence of third parties I was left out the construction phase, and couldn’t provide my expertise on design, budget and construction materials in the tropics. Indirect costs, change orders and unforeseen charges in a construction agreement, really mean a high cost in a budget than building what was originally designed.
The lesson is this: if you trust your architect, keep trusting her/him until the end. Having blueprints done is only half the way of the project. It would be like not letting a musician play in public her/his composition. Once the construction phase starts the process will get more difficult to understand and if you stop listening to your architect, things will get more and more confusing, if you have no guidance. You may end up giving up to your desired design, and pleasing somebody’s else convenience. Unfair competition, the contractor’s interests and budget manipulation may be one of the many facts that will deplete the original project. Aesthetic and functional successful projects have always a good architectural direction behind. Beware of making changes to the original design during construction phase, you may end up with a house that doesn’t look like in the renderings!