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“Do I need an architect?”
This is the question many people ask when they set out to build a new home.
The short answer is, “yes”.
The longer answer explains why using an architect to design your home makes sense on so many levels.
Here’s an explanation of why architects are essential, based on our many years in the industry.
What is an architect?
Firstly, you need to understand what an architect is and how they are different from a home designer.
Architects complete five years of university-level training. They follow this with thousands of hours of professional experience before they can apply to sit their professional registration exams.
This training makes architects better equipped to deal with more complex and complicated designs. These designs integrate many streams of knowledge for an outcome that’s informed, intelligent and based on best practice. Larger buildings like apartment complexes or industrial sites must be designed by an architect but smaller projects also benefit from an architect’s input. Using an architect streamlines the process and ensures high-quality outcomes that adhere to social, financial and environmental responsibilities.
If you’re investing in the process of building a home from scratch, it makes sense to choose an architect over a home designer who has less experience, less knowledge and fewer qualifications.
An architect also makes sense if you are renovating, adding a room or adding a pool. They will bring far-reaching knowledge that can be applied to optimise your final outcome.
Needles to say, there are many moving parts to an architectural project and an architect should be viewed as the director, coordinating the various specialist and necessary parties with efficiency, in the right order, and with the right instructions, so you don’t have to.
Ten reasons to choose an architect
- They are home design experts
If you’re asking “do I need an architect?” you don’t have to have one but you should. The years of training undertaken by an architect means they have deeper and more extensive knowledge. They will design for your property, which gives you a more suitable end product than a basic project home.
When it comes to home design, architects are the highest level in the industry. Why settle for any less when you can have an expert design your home?
- They don’t actually charge more than a basic home designer (or if they do it’s not much more)
It is a common misbelief that using an architect will blow your budget. Architects often charge the same rates as home designers. If an architect does charge a slightly higher rate, you know it’s’ because you’re getting a superior product.
It doesn’t hurt to shop around and compare prices but remember you’re not always comparing apples with apples. Ask exactly what you’re getting and you will probably find the architect has a lot more to offer.
- They work to meet your vision
Architects enjoy creativity and love to work interesting features into their designs. An architect will do everything to create the perfect home for you. They will listen to your vision and do everything they can to factor it into your designs.
If you are buying a package home design it can be difficult to work in personal features. You may find you end up paying extra and could have gone with an architect in the first place.
Especially in Byron Bay, homes should be designed to reflect the unique qualities of their owners. This is something we specialise in at Zaher Architects.
- They work to match the landscape and environment
A lot of people get excited over a ‘project home’ plan, only to discover it won’t work on their land. Architects are trained to take the surroundings into consideration. They will know exactly how to make your home work, no matter the slope or shape of your block. They also know which sides of the house to place the most windows and how to maximise airflow for your location and protect you from the elements.
Consider the strength of the elements in and around Byron Bay. Will your home designer or project home really ensure you are sheltered from the sun and wind?
- They know how to ensure you get council approval
Without an architect on your side, you may struggle to get certain features approved for your new home or you may end up with designs that don’t meet council requirements.
Architects know all about working with councils and what you can and can’t get approval for. It is especially helpful if they are local because they will have worked with the council before.
- They can connect you with the best local builders
An architect will know who to go to for the best quality build at the best price. You don’t need to worry about shopping around and trying to figure out who the best builders in your area are.
Do I need an architect?… Yes, to help you with all areas of your project.
- They can help review your building contract
Building contracts are complicated and confusing. With an architect, you don’t need to worry about the daunting task of understanding the fine print in your contract. They review your contract with you and guide you through everything you need to know.
- The process is streamlined and building runs much more smoothly
The whole process of building your home will be a lot more streamlined with an architect. Architects understand intimately the ins and outs of necessities like plumbing or electricity. There will be far less chance of plans needed to be changed to accommodate pipes when the plumbers arrive. With an architect, changes in plans are rare, unless it’s you who changes your mind.
- Your home has more value
Architect designed homes are highly sought after. Buyers know that an architect designed home will be unique and high quality.
They know the home will be a step above any kit built or home and land package houses in the area. When it comes time to sell, homes designed by architects are always snapped up quickly.
Your renovation or pool project will also benefit from having the input of an architect.
- You get a home that is uniquely yours
“When do I need an architect?”… When you want a home that is uniquely yours. With an architect, you know your home will be a one-off. It won’t feel identical to any number of standard land and home package houses. Your home will be unique with special features and touches that you chose yourself. Nothing is more satisfying than moving into a home that’s designed to cater to your specific lifestyle and needs.
Zaher Architects provides high-quality plans for new builds and major renovations in Byron Bay and surrounding areas. We are also able to help with interior design services.
Take a look at our services and contact us for more information.