David Hackwood Architect
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The Advantages of Using an Architect

Posted: Monday, December 10, 2012 at 10:21:18 AM EST by David Hackwood

 The most important piece of architecture that you are ever likely to experience is your own home:  it’s the one piece of the built environment in which you will spend most of your life. Architects spend seven years training while all the time considering the creative use of space, the appropriateness of materials, the importance of detail and the intangible improvements in human wellbeing that occur in a well-designed environment. So we ought to use them.
Kevin McCloud ‘Grand Designs Handbook’ 2006 

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Commencing a building project, be it a new home, a simple extension or a complex building, is a big decision, so it makes sense to use the expertise of an architect. An architect has the technical skills, knowledge and experience to ensure your vision becomes a reality. 

Designing and building without an architect may save you money upfront but an architect can add design benefits and value to your project by utilising their specialist skills. They can save you money over time and give you a more original and creative building. 

WHAT IS AN ARCHITECT?

An architect is usually a university trained, multi skilled professional who is required to be registered with the Board of Architects in the particular state where they work. They are also required to undertake continuing professional development to ensure their skills and experience remain relevant and up to date. This is to protect your interests so you know when you engage an architect you will be working with a fully qualified professional. 

WHAT DOES AN ARCHITECT DO?

Architects do more than just design and produce nice drawings. A good architect can help you with the following skills:

  • Advise on selection of a site
  • Help you put together your brief
  • Design and plan to match your personal requirements and budget
  • Prepare drawings for approval
  • Obtain competitive quotes  from builders.
  • Be involved on site during construction to ensure the building is completed as per the documents. 

Architects understand council rules and policies on what you can build and where. They also tend to think laterally and in the design process can give you more options and possibilities. 

A good architect can incorporate current trends and concepts. For example ‘sustainability’ and ‘energy efficiency’ are desirable in new homes nowadays and a skilled architect can sensitively include these ideas and still produce a building that is pleasant and appealing. 

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN AN ARCHITECT AND A BUILDING DESIGNER?

Generally ‘building designers’ have limited formal design training. They will draw what you ask them to but may not make suggestions or present you with options. They have skills to provide you with building application drawings but may not take responsibility for cost estimates or ensure that the design meets your budget.

Only a person who is registered with the Board of Architects can use the term ‘architect’.  Architects offer a far greater scope of services based on their higher skills and experience.

WHAT DO ARCHITECTS CHARGE?

Architects fees vary for each project so it is best to ask for a fee proposal and to make sure you have a clear understanding of the services and costs prior to making a decision. Because a good design will save you money over time and add value to your home, in most cases architects pay for themselves. An architect designed home is usually a good investment because of the quality and efficiency of the final product.

 The main advantage of using an architect is that he (or she) is trained to do the specific task that you need them to do and has your best interests at heart.  Engaging an architect for your building project is the smartest decision you can make.

 

 

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