We are currently in extremely unusual times, where it often feels like we are placing our lives on hold.
However, does this include putting on hold your dreams of carrying out a new-build, extension, or renovation? Depending on your own individual situation this may not be necessary.
This Q&A article aims to demystify the current situation in the world of COVID-19, and to provide you with the tools for making informed decisions.
This is general advice specific to private residential projects in the state of Victoria. And, we recommend that you obtain your own individual financial advice before proceeding with any project, along with legal advice before signing a building contract.
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. Read more…
This is a great informative video clip illustrating that Architects work on projects of all sizes and complexity, and that they can add value from design and construction to the resale of your home. Warning: it is slightly cheesy.
This image is of the concrete, which has been formed on site, for one of my inner-city Melbourne projects. It has been used for the kitchen joinery, on the sides and the bench top. For the bench top a smooth concrete surface was created, whilst the sides were as per the image. I love the materiality of the concrete, it almost looks like limestone. The use of concrete was my client’s wonderful idea, whilst the builders did an amazing job, which included some experimentation. This is what I call true collaboration: client, builder and architect.
It has come to my attention that my approach to budgets may be different to the majority of architects.
This is where my point of difference lays. Firstly, I discuss with the client what they would like to achieve. As you can suspect a lot of client’s needs and aspirations far exceed their budgets; so I then work closely with the client to see what can be achieved within their budget.
I suspect a lot of architects establish the client’s brief then announce the estimated cost; which normally exceeds the client’s budget. This results in the architect not being engaged.
Clients have budgets and it is important to keep within these budgets. The last thing you want on a project is for the client’s dreams to be turned into a nightmare with costs exceeding their budgets. It is the architect’s role to keep the project within the Cost of Works budget; and it is important to have contingencies to prevent overruns of costs. It is vital to communicate clearly to the client when an added item or a design change will affect their budget; then they can make a considered decision on whether they want to proceed with this. Life is too short to have the unnecessary burden of debt.
I have a thing for small projects. I adore doing residential renovations and extensions in the inner-city of Melbourne. It ticks all my boxes. It gets me excited.
Firstly, you get to work with existing homes. The inner-city of Melbourne has some beautiful period homes. I adore their detailing with their ornate cornices, ceiling roses, skirting and architraves. I am happy to restore; however, I never recreate. To me recreating has a level of dishonesty. It is always void of the years of use – and often layers of paint – that gives it added character. Re-creating period homes simply does not work. Trust me. I also love how these houses represent a period of time in the past.
And to turn people’s dreams in to reality, one needs to build a level of trust with their clients. It is such a huge responsibility. You are not only managing their cost of works budget you are also managing their expectations. There is so much emotion invested when it comes to residential designs; as you are often dealing with people’s dreams.
JCA is a design practice specialising in bespoke high-performance, ultra-low energy, comfortable and healthy residential new builds, alterations, renovations, and extensions in Melbourne and regional areas. We are a client orientated practice where each design evolves from working closely with you to understand your individual brief and aspiration; with the end result being a tailored personalised design.