Whether you’re building a new home or developing an existing one, working with an architect is your best chance of bringing your dreams to life.
Designing and building or renovating a home can be very complicated.
When you hire an architect, you have a professional on your side who knows the construction industry inside out; someone who has undertaken seven years of architectural training and is a registered professional.
No other building professional is as qualified in design and construction to such a high level.
Not designers, draughtspeople or your sister’s husband’s brother who’s handy on a computer.
Architects are professional problem-solvers and lateral thinkers.
For instance, they can suggest new ways of utilizing space and light, assist with ideas for materials, finishes and fittings, find the right builder, and create design solutions to reduce your running costs while maximizing energy efficiency.
An architect will help you maximize the potential of your renovation or building project, guiding you through the design and construction process.
They provide a service that extends well beyond a set of drawings: they can stimulate your imagination, help your peace of mind, stretch your resources, administer contracts and keep everything on track, on time and on budget.
In short, for a fraction of the costs of the total project, they are a sound investment.
Working with an architect is a partnership, and the sooner you establish that partnership the better the relationship you’ll both have to deliver your dream home.
An architect can help you right from the early stages when you are not even sure if you should renovate, detonate and rebuild or simply move.
An architect will help you determine if your budget is realistic and if your ideas are achievable within council and other regulations. They can help you define your project, carry out site analysis and provide a variety of other pre-design services before you even start looking at concepts.
An architect can take you all the way from drawings to completion day.
They can oversee the design, assist with the approvals process, manage the build and help keep track of your budget.
Here’s a guide as to how you can work with your architect to achieve the best results.
This stage is important for all projects. It begins with your architect getting a real feel for your needs so that together a clear brief can be established with a realistic budget. This will help reduce the overall design costs and help ensure that your home is completed on time and on budget by identifying and reducing any potential issues early on.
Once a brief is agreed, initial design work can be undertaken. This is the point at which your architect prepares early design concepts which start bringing to life your brief and ideas. Some important aspects of a design begin to come together such as the floorplan layout, the way the building or renovation is arranged on the site and the way it responds to things like sunlight and prevailing breezes.
Town planning & development application
Some projects require approval from your local council. Your architect can help with the necessary drawings and approvals (where required) before your project goes ahead, including preparation of applications to the local council and negotiations with the other statutory bodies such as water authorities.
Your architect will work closely with you to develop the design to ensure it fits your dream, maximises your investment and ensures cost effectiveness and value. This stage includes refining details of the design, the selection of building materials, resolving any outstanding regulatory issues, and working with specialist consultants such as structural engineers to ensure the building meets building regulations.
The drawings and specifications will be prepared by your architect, and they can oversee the development of specialist plans where necessary (e.g. structural engineering, plumbing) by other consultants. They will also lead you through the process in regards to the building permit.
Your architect will guide you through the contractor selection process, helping you select suitable builders, obtain competitive prices for construction, negotiate with the preferred tenderer (if required) and prepare the contract documents.
Your architect can administer the contract between yourself and a builder to build your dream home. They will liaise with the builder to assess quality of work at key stages and ensure that contract and specifications are complied with. They will keep you informed of progress, approve variations, certify progress payments, identify defects and ensure they are rectified, and generally oversee the construction through to successful completion.