A Local Architect in the residential design field can find many specialties where their services are needed. A residential architect may produce drawings for production builders, where many homes of a similar type are built within one subdivision. Alternately, there are clients who prefer an entirely unique home design; one that is not replicated anywhere, and these homes require a custom residential design plan, which would also be drawn up by a residential architect. Many opportunities for local architects are available in the home remodelling area, where one or a few rooms are being added on or reconformed within an existing home. What all of these tasks have in common is the need to plan the appropriate space, materials, and surfaces prior to a new structure being built. An architect needs a minimum of five years in college, typically, to become fully licensed as a practitioner, including one year as intern in the field. Many residential architects hold advanced degrees in order to specialize in a particular type of building, such as historical preservation, for example. A customer typically gives the residential architect some input on what they want, and the architect's assignment begins with measuring and sketching. The end product is a detailed plan of the future built environment with an interior and an exterior that must meet certain building codes prior to being constructed. In addition to structural elements like wall placement, the architectural plan typically shows the spacing of major fixtures such as sinks, toilets, and kitchen counters, in order to calibrate the proper spacing of walkways within each room. Within the constraints of using accepted materials, keeping costs within the customers budget, and meeting local zoning and building laws, a residential architect still has significant leeway to insert their own design ideas into their assignments. Starting with the production-home scenario, an architects role with a large-scale builder might include the design of hundreds of homes with similar attributes. The developers of large-scale subdivisions in the affordable end of the home-sale spectrum are able to control labor and material costs by standardizing the products available in a particular neighborhood. For example, the residential construction developer may offer four standard floor plans, perhaps a 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom, 4-bedroom, and a 4-bedroom-plus, with an extra bathroom. Blueprints or templates for each of these standardized products may have some upgradable options, but the basic layout would be the same for each 3-bedroom home to be built, in a normal production-style neighborhood. A 3-bedroom model home, for potential buyers to walk through, would be designed by a residential architect. Subsequent homes of that type would typically use almost identical blueprints, with slight deviations from the template, i.e. where the buyer gets minor options to choose tile colors or cabinet types. However, many structural aspects such as roof angles and window placement would be repeated throughout the neighborhood, in order to create savings through economies of scale, in this type of residential construction. The large-production assignments offer a chance for a local architect to design very practical room layouts and exterior elevations that appeal to mass audiences. Anticipating demographic trends is an important part of this industry, so that the desires of a home-buying population are satisfied without the need for customizing each floor plan. For example, if a new neighborhood is catering specifically to elderly empty-nesters, the marketing materials and model decorations would not emphasize a perfect nursery for the baby. When demographic trends indicate a need for walk-in shower stalls that accommodate a wheelchair, or bathrooms with double sinks, the production building team and architect may seek to offer an appealing floor plan to meet this trend, and to brand it as fashionable. The goal in such large-scale projects is not only to sell a specific group of amenities in one home, but rather in hundreds of homes. Successfully built floor plans in a production-home setting can bring a local architect significant popularity and name-recognition, if the amenities of such homes prove to be practical, usable, and reasonably durable. Conversely, a design that does not stand up to normal wear and tear can draw wide criticism if the same fault becomes apparent in a large number of homes. Another type of job wherein residential architects may specialize is the designing of custom homes. A custom home would represent the dream of one home buyer or one family rather than many. The architect may seek unusual and atypical designs for such a home, deliberately avoiding mass-marketed building fashions, in order to make a very unique dwelling unit. Custom home challenges for the residential designer might include a request for passive solar attributes, like the strategic positioning of windows to avoid direct sunlight, or deluxe exterior materials, like a clay tile roof. Custom homes may make use of unusual building sites, such as a dramatic mountain view or steeply-sloped grade, where the existing conditions must be carefully measured and optimized in order to compose an architectural plan that is compatible with its surroundings.