Grand Designs Australia

Why use an architect?

Every year, thousands of Aussies build new homes, or renovate and extend their existing homes.
Unfortunately, many are unhappy with the finished result.Some owners find their home looks different to the way they pictured it, is poorly planned, hard to heat or keep cool, or has cost far more than they thought. This is where an Architect could have helped.

Reasons to use an architect:

• They have the qualifications, professional training, vision and experience to manage the entire design and construction process.
• An architect will help you define and create what you want to build, present options you may never have considered and help you get the most for your budget.
• Architect-designed buildings are more desirable and sought after by an increasingly sophisticated, design-conscious market prepared to pay for the benefits and enjoyment derived from living with good design.
• An architect can design buildings that work efficiently, solve problems of space and function and fit comfortably into the environments that surround them.
• Architect-designed buildings are more energy efficient, cheaper to operate and easier to maintain.

What do Architects charge?

Your Architect will individually negotiate with you, to set a fee for the level of service you require. It is important that this happens as early as possible, to make sure that everybody is clear about your needs.

The basis of the fee can vary, depending on the type and complexity of the project. It may be worked out as a percentage of the building cost, on an hourly basis, or simply as an agreed fixed sum. Fees for domestic work may range from 7% and 18% for full services but may be considerably less for partial services. This flexibility enables you and your Architect to settle on a fee that fits your individual circumstances

How do Architects Work?

Architects work in four broad stages:
1. Schematic Design – ‘Can we build up? Do we spread out? Do we step down with the block? Where is the pedestrian and vehicle access?’ These questions and others are schematic design questions.
2. Design Development - This is the stage where the design is developed and your Architect shows you a range of options regarding choice of building materials. Your Architect can outline the merits of each, determine their likely costs and help you make a final decision.
3. Contract Documentation – The Architect does drawings and other instructions needed to ensure that your house is built to your requirements, and to the standard expected by your local building authority.
4. Contract Administration – This is the practical stage of building where the Architect can recommend builders whose work is of a good standard so you can feel confident that the work will be carried out in a professional manner.

To find out more about how an architect works with you to get the best outcomes at every stage of the process, read our guide on how to work with an architect

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