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.
Are you considering not using an architect for the construction stage?
A full architectural service takes a project from concept through to completion on site. Occasionally clients consider not engaging the architect for the construction stage of their project, other wise referred to as Contract Administration; however, there are risks associated with this. Some clients fail to understand that CA is a core architectural service, as opposed to an additional service. While this may at first be seen as a cost saving measure clients may not be aware of the risks involved by proceeding with the construction stage without the assistance and guidance of the architect. Contracts produced by such organizations as the MBA and HIA have no role for an architect and it could be argued that these contracts appear to be biased towards the building contractor. Clients need to understand these risks before making the decision not to engage the architect for the provision of CA services. The risks include:
Forms of building contract where there is no provision for an architect.
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.
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).
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.
I was having a conversation with a builder the other day and I was reminded how important furniture plans are. It breaks my heart to see people shelve out thousands on renovations and extensions when it ends up being difficult – or impossible – to furnish.
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.