Building a new home can be overwhelming. Too many elements, minor details, specifications to be considered and the multitude of decisions to be made.
Just deciding whether or not you need an architect can be challenging.
- Where to start?
- What are the best materials to use?
- The best design?
- How to choose an architect?
- How can I be sure of what I am getting?
- Should you even hire an architect or not?
The answer is Yes. Yes, you should hire an architect and here is why
The most important factor – Your decision making will only get easier and efficient with an architect. An architect on board helps to narrow down the options, so you don’t get overwhelmed with the innumerable lists and research. And all this keeping your interest, vision, and budget in mind.
True not all architects are of the same caliber. A certain amount of judgment will be needed from your end in assessing the years of experience. The reviews and references definitely help. Gauging their receptiveness to your intentions and plans by watching how attentive they are to you will help make a suitable choice and in turn, create a good work relationship.
Another thing to consider is the true benefit of design costs. It may be tempting to forgo design cost, but if the final result is flawed and can cause you more grief than the short term benefit of avoiding the cost of design.
Here are a few tips that would help you to decide how to choose the right architect.
One who can understand your requirements well and can really support you in making sure all these choices not only look great but are affordable and functional as well.
You can consider these before the work starts. And remember, it is ok to change your mind, even in the early stages of your project when there’s still time to walk away without too much damage.
A process in place
which demonstrates efficiency. Having a set process and modus operandi ensures that you have given the key to your next dream home to someone who works with a plan, is meticulous and systematic. You can be assured of timelines and budget considerations.
When I think about my time at university, I know we were being taught communication at one level. We were constantly required to communicate our design ideas and present our work. From our weekly tutorials with our design tutor to presenting our final submissions, we would be standing in front of a design jury made up of some university staff and external members from the industry. The students would have a set time frame to present the design, and to respond to questions and criticism. So while communication skills was not a subject that was explicitly taught, we certainly got trained in it during the course of our degree.
A good architect will tell you what you need to hear and not what you want. While this is not an easy task it is the architect’s professional responsibility to be open and honest. If you want a designer that says ‘yes’ to you all the time, then you’re better off not hiring them. A responsible designer will speak the truth to homeowners about the project rather than make bad design decisions which can be sorely regretted later on.
They guide you.
You hire an architect for their expertise, and how that expertise fills a knowledge and experience gap between where you are now, and where you want to get to in your new build or renovation project. An experienced designer knows their professional responsibility is to show a duty of care to their clients. To present them with the scenario and guide them to make the best decision for them. To anticipate risks they don’t see, and to help them to avoid them.
They treat your money like their own.
And it is simply a way of saying that they consider it a privilege to be helping you spend your money on your future home. You want to work with a designer who honors the trusting relationship in working with you. They will keep clients on track and remind them of their budget. The budget is a part of the conversation at every meeting. They consider it an important part of the brief and do not shy away from discussing it.
They have substantial industry knowledge and experience
- This seems an obvious point, but some of the greatest mistakes in projects have been made where the architect has insufficient experience. I have seen designers without experience with construction materials or detailing, who do not understand the way that their design will impact the structural engineering or overall build of the project – and ultimately the cost. I’ve also seen designers not be familiar with building codes and that can cause major issues down the line, during the construction process.
Bottom line – Building a home should be an exhilarating process and it is a good idea to have an experienced architect to make the journey with.