Value of an architect
by John McGrath
Good quality design is one of the most important aspects of residential property today, particularly in exclusive affluent areas where properties have multi-million dollar price tags. It’s great to see a growing recognition among Australian home owners of the value of good quality design – and even more, the value of a talented experienced architect.
More Australians are using architects in addition to builders when renovating, extending or building a new home. We’re far more open to new ideas and we understand the value of an architect’s opinion on structural issues and aesthetics.
It’s also become a status thing. I talk to a lot of sellers and it’s very common for them to proudly volunteer detailed information on who designed their homes. And so they should, because buyers are definitely drawn to properties with a stylish edge and a prominent architect’s name attached. As a nation, we’re increasingly seeking inspiration in the way they live and increasing respect for architectural expertise is part of this.
However, there’s still a misperception out there that architects are just for the wealthy and that’s absolutely not the case. Many architects offer flat fee packages for a variety of services, such as the Design Concept package offered by Archicentre, the building advisory service of the Australian Institute of Architects.
It includes an existing condition plan, an architect’s design concept including plans plus elevation or perspectives, recommendations on materials and finishes, an itemised opinion of probable costs and recommendations on how to get your property built.
If you’re looking at buying a renovators’ delight, you can book an architect for a pre-purchase inspection to uncover existing problems and provide costed solutions. They can also give you advice on your renovation plans including local council and building regulations.
When you engage an architect, you get a lot more than a designer. The difference between a designer and an architect is at least five years of university study. But more important than their academic knowledge is their vision and innovation. Most Australians love property and we all have ideas when it comes to improving our homes, but architects have a natural talent for it and they’re likely to recognise opportunities for your property that would have never occurred to you otherwise! Architects also consider how you want to live as part of their creative process – their work is very tailored to you.
In addition to designing your new home or renovation, an architect will help you set a realistic budget, they’ll organise the quotes, liaise with your builder, engineer and so on and administer the construction contract. Critically, they’ll monitor the progress of the work from start to finish for quality control to ensure your goals (and dreams) are realised.
It should also be noted that architects don’t just design brand new homes or contemporary renovations. Many architects specialise in recreating period style properties such as Victorian and Federation homes. They have intimate knowledge of their particular specialist style and can advise you on the smallest of details, such as appropriate fittings and fixtures to sympathetically return your property to its yesteryear glory.
Think of your architect as your creative partner and don’t be afraid to think outside the square and break down a few barriers (or perhaps a few walls) in the process!
Important information: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. For this reason, any individual should, before acting, consider the appropriateness of the information, having regard to the individual’s objectives, financial situation and needs and, if necessary, seek appropriate professional advice.
Published: Monday, July 23, 2012blog comments powered by Disqus