Why Choose an Architect
“Architect-designed houses are not accessible to all”. This is a myth championed by the building industry. Alternatively, why not focus on the key benefits architects bring to a project. Here are a few for you:
• Appoint an architect to your project and you’ll gain a home designed for the way you want to live.The alternative is a builder-designed home that suits what the builder is used to building. Quality builders will ask for plans and specifications to be thoroughly documented so that they can go ahead and do what they do best, which is build. Working out with the owner what you’re going to build and why is the architect’s role.
• An architect manages planning approvals. This process is complex, often arbitrarily applied by many Councils, fraught with pitfalls for the novice and is ramped up every year with new hoops to jump. If you want a professional on your side who knows the territory, will go in to bat for you and will forge a way through this minefield, you need an architect.
• If you’d prefer to put the works to tender to a number of builders so that you can make an informed decision, rather than having to accept the quote of the single builder you started the process with, you need an architect.
• If you’d prefer to protect yourself with a proper, architect-managed ABIC contract that works equally for both parties and is legally enforceable, you need an architect.
• An architect will minimise costly changes during construction as he or she will produce a proper level of drawings (expect 20 x A3 pages for a new home, rather than the 1-2 pages you’ll receive from a drafting service.). The reasons for this are that you have on paper exactly what you want to build. Without this, you are entering a contract with a builder with none of the details resolved. You wouldn’t do that if you were buying a house, so why do it when spending an equally significant amount of money?
Unfortunately, some builders see this approach as an opportunity to happily accept constant changes from ‘project managing’ owners because it’s just another variation that he can charge for. The longer he is there, the better for his margins, particularly when there’s no contract to speak of.
Finally, an architect is a specialist with a professional duty of care, irrespective of financial gain. In other words, they’re there to support and protect you, without benefit to themselves. No one else in the building industry can provide this.