I’ve read a few articles recently about the negative sides of using an architect for a renovation lately, but having gone the other way so many times I’m confident it’ll be the right decision for our ‘forever home’ project.
Our reasons for not choosing an architect previously were around costs and difficulty of the design. We’ve mainly renovated older style homes for investments, so there has been limited design work – simply opening the rooms up and re-invigorating the space has been enough. Our current house we went with an architect for the design and approval phase only as we wanted to design an extension without needing a DA (we were able to do it as a complying development). Sourcing our own materials and project managing the builder weren’t big deals for us with this house.
The ‘forever home’ is different and so we’ve decided to run with an architect again, one with a bit more experience and comprehensive offering. There are a few reasons for this and while we haven’t officially engaged anyone yet I’m hoping they’ll take the process to the next level and give us a home we love.
- Integration: We’d like to extend the current house significantly, and integrating a 100 year old property with a new build is not something I’m comfortable with.
- Local council: Our local council is difficult to navigate and the process is quiet slow (rumors are DA’s are taking +6months!) so we need someone focused on helping us push this through.
- Holistic design: I’m confident with choosing fixtures and fittings and a general style for the home, but I really want those additional design features that make a home amazing – the built in cabinetry, amazing lighting, a consistent flow, varying textures.
- Costs & Time: while an architect does add cost to the build (about 10-15%) I think the end design and the time saved will be worth the investment.