Sometimes property owners fail to realise how complicated the building process can be. Until they are faced with a myriad of design options and stringent building codes, they would think that getting advice from architects is unnecessary.
Whether you’re looking to construct a new building or home, expand your existing property, or renovate a space and turn it into something different, you should hire architects to have a professional guide you throughout the whole process.
What do architects do?
Architects are trained and registered professionals, and the type of work that they do are quite varied. Their expertise basically covers design and planning, but they can also take on roles that cover a broad range of responsibilities. Because of the diversity of projects that they handle, their services may also change depending on the needs of their clients.
Architectural services may include:
- Contract administration
- Team organisation
- Collaboration and communication
- Product research
- Brief development
- Specification writing
- Post-occupancy evaluation
Which should you hire: architects or building designers?
It’s easy to overlook the differences between architects and building designers because when you get down to it, both of them deal with creating designs for homes, buildings, and other types of structure. However, it still pays to know how to differentiate one from the other and when you should hire an architect or a building designer.
Architects have finished a university degree in architecture, and they have worked on at least two years of practical experience before taking and passing the registration examinations. Meanwhile, building designers often have a background in drafting or drawing. They don’t have a degree in architecture, and they usually start out as draftsmen; but some Australian states offer licensing to building designers as well.
Now, when is it best to hire an architect? When is a building designer enough? If you have a large commercial project or if you’re doing a complex renovation or new house design, you should go to a licensed architect. However, if you’re only dealing with small residential projects or minor renovation work, the skills of a building designer would suffice.
What are the advantages of hiring licensed architects?
There are many things that architects can help you with, and they are not only concerned with the design aspect or the technical side of the building process. They can assist you with more practical matters too.
They can help you define your building needs.
Architects are thorough when it comes to the details of a project, and by asking about your preferences and needs, they can clearly define your requirements and the scope of work that should be done. Consequently, this will help you have a clear idea on the budget needed to successfully obtain all the materials. This will enable you to think out a better plan so that the building process can go smoothly.
They can help you make plans.
With their experience in the industry, they can anticipate possible issues with the layout and design of your property. Aside from that, they can also offer solutions that will best address these things. They can come up with flexible designs for your changing needs.
They can help you see the big picture.
They’re knowledgeable in various aspects, and they can help you understand how a certain kind of material can affect the overall structure of your property. Will the design of your roof or bathroom have an impact on the look or soundness of your home?
They can provide solutions.
Architects are trained to solve problems in the most creative way. When you hire innovative architects for your project, you can definitely get an array of options and alternatives that would be perfect for you. For instance, if you’re looking to have a bigger space for a home office, they can design a room that has enough space for your needs.
What should you look for when hiring architects?
Looking for architects can be baffling. How do you compare one from the other? How can you say that one person is better than the other? How do you know if the third architect who showed an interest in your job is the best candidate among the bunch?
Here are some of the things to check when selecting an architect for your project:
As mentioned earlier, architects can handle different aspects of a construction project; they can provide a variety of services. Nevertheless, you should make sure that they have adequate knowledge on the type of structure that you’re going to build. If it’s your dream home, you should go for residential architects. If it’s going to be a commercial building, you better tap commercial architects.
✓ Customer feedback
Reviews made by previous clients can be seen on the businesses’ Service Seeking profiles. If you take the time to read up on them, you can have a good idea about their skills, attitude, and professionalism. While it’s important to ensure that you are hiring qualified pros, you should also look into their ability to meet deadlines, their personality, and other things that are non-negotiable for you. Check out these reviews on some of the site’s top architects:
”Rammi a pleasure to deal with, wasn't too sure on process of planning an extension but made it easy & found him knowledgeable at a fair price for his services. Has a great team & is quick to respond & was always available when needed. Highly recommended!" - Bill on rK Designs
”When my wife and I decided to proceed with renovations to our home we chose to work with Rob Harris from Elements of Home. Rob not only did all of the design work and drawings, but everything from council applications to the issuing of planning and building permits. Rob also helped us put together a panel of builders and then guided us through the interview process. His knowledge and experience with building contracts was invaluable and made our task of choosing a builder so much easier. We are delighted with the professional and pleasant manner in which Rob has helped us through all of the various stages involved, and we would be happy to recommend him to anyone contemplating a residential project.” - John on Rob Harris
Compare prices from different businesses. Typically, the average cost of architectural design services is $35/hr, but this may change depending on the scope of work and the complexity of the job. Don’t hesitate to ask businesses about their quotes. This will certainly help in making things clear for the both of you.