Do You Really Need An Architect?

Hi, I’m Jan Hogarth, a residential and renovation specialist architect from PlaceMate Architects in Brisbane. When do you need an architect? Today, I would like to share the correct triggers to know if you need an Architect.

Nobody wakes up in the morning and thinks they’re in the mood to spend tens of thousands of dollars to sprinkle a bit of joy on an Architect’s life so they can draw a few doodles. No, no, no – this does not happen. We are always at the start of the process to assist and organise your home renovation or new build.

1. The Clue

The clue when you think you might need an Architect is when you’ve been thinking about renovating for a few years and have contacted several builders who have said various things about what is possible at your place. The Architect’s role is to think through each process and challenge your project faces. The Architect will think of various options that could be possible for your property; for example, should you raise the house? Should you move it to the side? What are the implications for cost, construction, and approvals? Building is so expensive you can throw a lot of money away and not get anywhere. That’s why knowing what you want before hiring an Architect is essential.

2. Architects & Accountants

Architects are like chartered accountants and financial planners. You trust them with your finances; therefore, you should trust us with your homes. Placemate has built and renovated countless homes in Brisbane and Queensland. We can ensure your home will still stand and look modern in the next 10 to 15 years. It’s also important to note that if you are investing a large portion of wealth into your home, it’s better to be safe than sorry to have an Architect on board to ensure the whole process goes smoothly and that there are no interruptions. The classic reason you need an architect is that you’ve got a complex layer of approvals.

3. Approvals & Documentation

We worked on this project a few years ago; it’s a new build with a Hamptons style. However, this project came with a complex brief and approvals. The home is near a park, in a critical ecology area prone to bushfires. Trying to get approvals through the council without stirring up a hornet’s nest is tricky as you need to know before applying how the home will match the approvals and get the desired results. Architects help with approvals and will bring a team of advisors, structural engineers, energy experts and town planning connections to ensure the build goes smoothly. You could do this yourself, but it is a timely process, and finding the best people for your project can be challenging. There’s a series of expertise that you need to go to. So that’s why you need an architect to coordinate all these people.

4. Outside Vision

Another reason you need an architect is to help select the correct materials for the exterior of your home. Now, why would you need an architect for this? Part of this is to get quotes. Now, if you get multiple quotes from different builders, everybody needs to be off the same page of documents and have everything nailed. For example, if you don’t document your kitchen, the builder will make an allowance for a kitchen they think is fair. They’re not trying to rip you off; they’re just giving you a figure. We make sure, in our process, that everything is documented. Now, that’s part of our work.

5. Quotes From Builders

Do you need quotes from different builders? Architects can help facilitate this process to ensure that the budget is manageable and that the builder has a good portfolio of work. Furthermore, the Architect can also help determine, based on the scope of your budget, which of their previous builders will be suitable for your project.

6. Monitoring The Build

Now, do you need to monitor the build? Sometimes, after having the documentation, you’re happy with the builder. You’re going to be living down the road and visiting the site once a month or once a week. You can talk to the guys. You’re happy with that. You don’t need an architect. If you live out of town or are so busy, there’s no way you’ll get on site every week; you need to hire an architect. Furthermore, if you live overseas, our team can be on-site every week, taking photos, reporting and sending documents. Now, this is the difference between architects and building designers. We all got liability insurance.

7. Architects are Building Experts

We’re also building experts. So, looking at a slab or a post, we can tell whether the documents are according to the plans. There’s nothing worse than coming in at the end of the job and going; I don’t know why they did it like that. They should have done it that other way. And it’s a ricochet decision that started at the ground level. So we have that expertise because we’re familiar with the building industry, and that’s why you need an architect.

If you’re considering a home renovation and you want to talk through your Queenslander renovation architects guide needs, request a site visit so that PlaceMate Architects can help make it come together in a really effortless way!

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