Getting the most out of your plans

There’s a common preconception among home owners that using an architect to design your home, or renovation will be a costly exercise, but this is not always the case.

Using an architect to plan your home or renovation doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll break the bank. There are a number of reasons for choosing to work with an architect and a number of roles an architect can play on your site.

If you look at your architect’s training, there are a number of ways they can actually save you money. An architect will:

  • Consider the aspect of your home or block and make an educated assessment on what style of home would work best in the environment
  • Understand what is needed to get a development approval (DA) to your council in a timely manner and be able to respond to questions or queries
  • Provide an accurate budget for your home with realistic costings for materials, administration and labour
  • Organise all building contracts on site and ensure each trades person is of the highest standard
  • Ensure the timeline and budget is being adhered to throughout the building process

Having this broad understanding and expertise in the A-Z of home construction is the real value you’re getting from having an architect on site, but you still need to choose the right architect for your project.

Basic criteria for choosing your architect

  • Professional qualifications
  • An Australian Institute of Architects membership
You’ll also need to look at your architects portfolio. Its no use choosing an architect that usually works on commercial buildings in Dubai if you’re employing them to renovate a two bedroom cottage in Sydney’s Inner West. Equally important is the aesthetic that your architect employs – as you’ll want to be on the same page in terms of your perceived design.

Discussing the architect’s costs should be done early on in the piece and understanding the service you get for your money is essential. Ensure your budget is at the forefront of any conversation as this is essential to the build and will give the architect an idea of what you should expect in return. Once you are both happy you can proceed with planning.

The likely stages of your build

Schematic design
Do you go up or out? Do you need off-road parking or would that space be better ustilised as a yard or courtyard? What sort of layout would best harness the natural light?

Design development
The architect has come back to you with possibilities and plans regarding your choice of materials and costs associated with each. This can be a stage of negotiation to include other elelments of design or drop some of the more costly features

Documentation
Architectural plans and development application

Contracting builders and trades
This is the stage when the architect advises and secures the necessary tradespeople to build your home – ensure that the trades come with the architect’s recommendations if possible

At Just Screw It, we understand that embarking on a large building projector can be a stressful time for you and your family. If reading this blog has given you more confidence to embark on your building journey then great. If it hasn’t then give us a call and we’ll manage the entire project for you, working closely with the architect of your choice if that’s the route you’d like to take.

Just Screw It recognises and encourages employing sustainable design and building practices to have a positive effect on local and global environments.