There's something about building or renovating our homes that really gets our creative juices flowing, and if you have plans to construct a home from scratch or add some quality improvements, chances are your head is swimming with design possibilities, plans and projections.
If that sounds like you, it could be time to engage an architect.
At this point you may be thinking “Sounds pricey”. And yes, you will pay for an architect's services (more on this later). But first, let's consider the benefits.
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As a building and design expert, an architect can give you ideas and advice to improve the quality of your design and the liveability of your home, thereby providing immediate lifestyle benefits.
Importantly, an architect can offer suggestions to help you make the most of space and light in your home, or provide ideas for energy efficiency that you may not have considered. Your architect can also explain how different materials, finishes and fittings can work together – and most importantly, a good architect will do all this with your spending budget in mind.
The end result can be a cleverly designed home with unique, one-of-a-kind features, and those are key drivers of long term price appreciation.
An architect can also help with more mundane areas of constructions and renovation, including helping you navigate the inevitable red tape of council building requirements and design standards.
Avoiding the pitfalls
Building and renovating can be very rewarding however there is no shortage of home owners who have wasted money on projects that involved poor design, and which have ended up costing the owners dearly in terms of lifestyle and loss of market value. An architect can help you avoid these expensive pitfalls, and in many cases, recommend a reputable builder, saving you the time and hassle of tracking down a quality construction team.
The bottom line is that you can expect a higher quality project, potentially with far less stress when you partner with an architect.
Cost varies widely
So how much will an architect cost? There is no hard and fast answer as the cost depends on the nature and scope of your project, the firm you engage and their fee structure. Some architects charge a fee based on a percentage of the building or project cost. Others charge on an hourly basis, or apply a set sum agreed between you both.
Whatever method is used to calculate fees, the bottom line is that for a fraction of the overall cost of a construction or renovation project, an architect should represent good value. A useful starting point for further information is the consumer website of the Australian Institute of Architects – Ask an Architect.
Of course, the way you finance a new build or renovation project also plays a pivotal role in your plans, and expert advice helps here too. To discover the range of options available for your circumstances, speak to the home loan experts at Mortgage Choice.