Architects are capable of doing more than just planning and designing various kinds of structure. Their role in the early stages of construction and their input in every building project are quite valuable; however, sometimes property owners, especially those who own just a small portion of land, tend to skip looking for architects.
Whether you’re planning for a new home or building or a renovation project, you should enlist the help of local architects. Here are some of the things that residential architects or commercial architects can help you with:
✓ They can clearly define your needs.
Their training in this type of work has enabled them to be thorough with details. By simply asking about your needs and preferences, they can help you better define your requirements and draw lines to determine their scope of work. Moreover, this gives you a firmer grasp of the entire project. You’ll have a clearer idea on the materials to be used and the amount you’re going to spend to implement your plan.
✓ They can give you professional and objective advice.
With a vast range of options available out there, decision-making can be tough. However, because architects are knowledgeable in various aspects of construction, you can consult them about your choices and other things that’s causing you confusion. They can help you see the bigger picture and show you how one material can affect another and how it can be an issue later on.
✓ They can provide efficient and cost-effective solutions.
Because of their ability to see possible issues, they can think of solutions and let you know about all of these early on. For instance, if you have a small property that you want to appear larger, they can work on a certain design that will maximise the space you have.
✓ They can make plans.
Drafting is part of their training, so if you need a building plan for your property to guide you throughout the construction process, they can readily do this for you. However, sometimes architects work with professional draftsmen too. They create a nice layout and design for your home or building so that your builder will have an idea on how your property should look like when it’s completed.
What’s the difference between architects and draftsmen?
Architects and draftsmen have closely related jobs; that’s why it can sometimes be tricky to know which person you really need for a specific job. To avoid mistaking one for the other, remember these three things:
- Roles. Architects are the ones who come up with the designs, and they handle planning too. Sometimes they can also be tapped to take on project management. Meanwhile, draftsmen are the ones who put the designs on paper; they draw up plans and technical drawings.
- Licensing. Architects must be licensed; draftsmen are not required to have licences. Architects also need a university degree in architecture as well as a minimum of two years of practical experience in order to obtain their licences. Draftsmen, on the other hand, don’t need to pass a licensing examination in order to be qualified for their job; they only need a TAFE diploma.
- Tasks. If you’re working on a big project and you still feel uncertain about the design of your property, it would be best to consult and hire architects. However, if you’re dealing with a very minor project and you only need someone to draw a plan for you, getting a draftsman’s architectural drafting services would be enough.
What should you look for when hiring architects?
Choosing an architect requires you to be very selective. A lot of things about your construction project will depend on the competence of your architect, so you should make sure that you’re hiring someone who’s really up to scratch. Check these things before signing a contract with any architect:
There are many aspects to the roles of architects, and these may change depending on the type of project they are handling. Ask them about their expertise so that you’ll know if they’re a good fit for the job. Professional architectural services may even include any of the following:
- Product research
- Specification writing
- Brief development
- Post-occupancy evaluation
- Contract administration
Make sure that you’re hiring innovative architects. Creativity is essential in designing homes and buildings as well as in capturing the needs of property owners. There are also some issues that will require a huge amount of ingenuity, so you should choose an architect who has a proven track record in producing creative designs. Check out their portfolio or photos of their recently finished projects. This is a good way to know what kind of quality you can expect from them.
Find out what other customers think of your prospective architects. Do they deal with their clients professionally? Do they turn up on time? Are they sensitive and observant to the needs of their customers? Have a look at their Service Seeking profiles; you’ll see a bunch of reviews on various architectural businesses. Here are some of them:
"Elements of home offers a personal and professional service that is second to none. Having worked as a builder myself for over 30 years and dealing with many design and architecture services over this time, I found him a pleasure to deal with. He has extensive knowledge and understanding in all areas from design, construction and of course town planning making the process a cohesive and smooth one from start to finish. Highly recommend.” - Mick on Rob Harris
”The team at FDC did a great job from the site finish to the final plans. The email communication was clear and precise and the turn around time to get the job done was fast. I would definitely recommend FDC and use them again myself.” - Michelle on FDC Building Designs
How much do architectural services cost?
The cost of hiring an architect will depend on a few factors like the type, size, and scope of a project. For example, the pricing for commercial architecture and residential architecture may vary from one another. But typically architects charge around $35/hr for their services. If you want to get an accurate quote, post your job on the site and provide specific details about your project. You can receive estimates from as many as 12 businesses.