Keen to hear everyone's thoughts, particularly those people who have built new or renovated a house. We are considering an extensive reno and are unsure about whether we should get an architect in. We have a reasonably good idea of what we want to do and obviously architects can get expensive. Appreciate any thoughts you can share. Thanks, Luke
There is lots of other helpful advice on the site.
While architects can be expensive, it is often money well spent. Remember that building a home and/or renovating is typically the biggest investment you ever make. It seems wise to spend a little bit more in the preparation and design phase to make sure you make the most of your space and get a home that perfectly meets your needs. Just be sure to do your homework on the architect and make sure that you suit each other. Lots of communication and examples of past work should help you decide whether you are a good fit for each other.
Totally agree with @CathD, good architects are specialists in all areas of the build, they do all of the engineering calculations, costing, offer fresh ideas, & can save you money, or guard you from a disaster, plus they sign their name to the deal.
This one is a little more blunt - Don't expect a draftsperson to know how to design
@Isobel, deadset right, they draw precisely to scale from rough sketches, so they're copycats, not designers. Even if they did design a house, it would have to scrutinised by an engineer, or architect for the plans to be approved.
I was known to be a very good at drawing when I was a young tradie, & was asked several times to fill in from time to time in the Drawing Office. To be a draftsman, you had to have a Technician's Certificate (which I didn't have), but not one of the permenant draftsmen were qualified to do architectural work.
The leap from draftsman to architect requires structural engineering skills at the very least.
Thanks for the input everyone. Next question is, how much should we pay for an architect? The fees seem to differ quite dramatically. What do you think is reasonable? I would prefer a flat fee rather than a percentage of the project cost, as then its not in their interest for the total cost to blow out. We want to stick to the budget!
@Andy_Mann Actually that's not quite correct Drafts persons & Architects have very basic structural analysis training.
IMO, a year 12 advanced physics/maths student would have a better understanding of structural analysis when compared to a qualified architect.
Anyone can design & Submit a house/building/design for approval not so with the engineering.
The codes, building authorities & Govt regulations requires structural engineers to be licensed. As A profession Engineers rank amongst the most trusted professions, architects aren't in the same class as Nurses, doctors ,phamacist ,engineers Here
@LukeBrowning most battlers sketch and design their own projects and then have them redrawn by others,ie , builders,designers or Architects the engineering is generally left to last..my advice is on difficult sites/builds always start with an optimised sketch/design and sort out the engineering first hand
@BIM_Engineer, fair enough mate, I stand corrected.
I guess I gave architects too much credit, or perhaps they're such glory seekers that they conveniently neglect mentioning the essential head banging done by the structural engineers.
To be clear, I couldn't imagine a structure being accepted/approved, without the endorsement of solid engineering (engineers), & neither should they be.
ACTUALLY, my InBox is being spammed, I've had 7 hits in 28 minutes on the subject.
Architects serve a purpose for which they get remunerated very well, with hourly charges and commissions. (5-10%)
If you can afford it then good for you..BTW Society doesn't condone engineers charging commissions.