The benefits of good design
If there is one place you will appreciate and experience the benefits of good design, it will be your own home. It is were we eat, sleep, work and play.
In a world that is constantly changing, our home provides a place of stability and security.
Our spaces need to be flexible, functional, and comfortable, whilst providing privacy. Otherwise the quality of our life may suffers.
Using an architect for your new home makes financial sense
Good design has it’s price; however, skimping on design quality will cost you more in the long run. Architect’s fee are typically a small percentage of the overall project costs, and they appear insignificant when compared with your homes operating costs over its life cycle.
Good design can maximise your home’s energy efficiency and reduce it’s operating costs. Engaging an architect at the project’s beginning enables us to design the project as a whole, and to create a design that is economical to run and capable of commanding greater value in the long term.
Developing a solid working relationship your architect, and spending time working through your brief, your timeframe, your budget, and the nature and cost of specialist consultants, will dramatically increase the chances of your project’s success.
If you’d like to discuss your project, please contact me for an obligation free consultation.
Where do all the costs go?
Of you overall costs of works for a new build home 25% of your costs could be taken up with external works and services (power, water, gas, sewer, storm water, paving, fencing etc), contingency, escalation, and GST; with the remaining 75% being taken up with building works.
The Mystery Of Architects’ Fees
The majority of people have no idea how much architect’s fees are, and it is not without good reason. The different methods on how we can charge are confusing.
Traditionally we charge on a percentage of the Cost of Works, other wise referred to as the construction costs.
Here is an example on how it works. We have standard percentage fee depending on the projects complexity. To make the calculation simple we will use a figure of 10 percent. Thus if the budget for your Cost of Works is $600,000 (excluding GST) for a new build home, our fee would be $60,000 (excluding GST). If you had double the budget, the percentage fee charged by most architects would be less.
“People say ‘location, location, location.’ They never say ‘design, design, design.’ I finally got why architects spend as long as doctors getting an education. They do something really magical. They don’t save lives but they enhance them.”
Tim Read, owner of the Burridge-Read Residence designed by David Boyle
An extract from www.modernhouse.co
A brief guide to help you understand our language
Brief – Your wish list
Client – That’s you
Consultant – A person who is consulted for paid expert advice, i.e. structural engineer, surveyor etc. We can advise you on the appointment of your consultants, from our trusted team.
Contingency sum – A sum of money included in a building contract or preserved outside it for costs (if necessary), for things unforeseen at the time that the building contract price was calculated. Contingency sums are highly recommended and we can assist you in establishing a recommended amount, which is normally calculated on a percentage.
Design Contingency Sum – A sum of money allowed in your project’s budget to cover the cost of matters that are unknown or unresolved at the time your budget is established. Your design contingency will typically be proportionally high early in the design stages and reduces as the design develops. Design Contingency Sums are highly recommended, and we can assist you in establishing an amount, typically calculated on a percentage.
What is value management?
In architect’s speak value management is an effective tool for helping us to help you. It assists you to understand the real implications of your requirements (otherwise known as the design brief).
Value management shares the decision-making. It empowers you to make
critical decisions when it comes to your home’s design and budget.
Did you know that I can often walk into a house and pick up if the architect was involved on site or not? Now this isn’t a comment on builders’ quality, it’s is a comment on how important it is to engage the architect on site. People often think the design process is finished on the completion of the drawings, this is far from the truth. It is impossible for the drawings to cover all the details, as the time and cost involved is not warranted. If you are concerned about quality, it’s imperative that you engage the architect from concept and right through to the end of the defects liability (typically twelve months after the completion of the build).
This is a client’s experience of having used a draftsperson and an architect.
There is a well published project, comprising of an home alteration and extension, that I have often admired designed by a local architect. When I realised is was built by a builder I knew I sent him an email congratulating him on the beautiful project. Before I knew it the builder had kindly organised for me to see the work. Lucky me.
It was fantastic to see the project in the flesh, and to see the architect’s attention to detail being beautifully carried out by the builder. It reminded me that it’s not only important to have the right architect, it is equally important to have the right builder.
Some days I feel like I am a lawyer, as I am constantly dealing with legal issues to protect my clients. These rang from planning requirements, building permit issues, to administrating a construction contract on site between the owner and builder.
Planning requires skills in understanding the legislations and rescode, which assists in the town planning negotiation stage with planners and neighbours. It makes it a lot easier to stand your ground when you know what your talking about and you have received an unreasonable objection. It also commands a greater respect from the planners.