© Provided by Are Media Pty LtdSelecting an architect to design your dream home can be a complete minefield. Find out how to make the decision a little easier.
Deciding to build or renovate a house is very exciting, but can also be a little scary. For many of us, this represents a significant amount of money that we work very hard to earn. With such high stakes, it's important to choose an architect who will deliver something great.
Architects can add significant value to your property by not only improving its physical attributes, but its functionality too. Just ask anyone who has recently finished their home - these improvements can significantly increase your quality of life - and therein lies the value of a good architect.
But exactly how do you choose an architect that that is attuned to your needs? We look at a five step process for finding the perfect architect to design your dream home.
1. Create a wishlist
Jot down everything you want in order of priority. You can be aspirational, but try not to get completely carried away - an indoor heated swimming pool might not cut it on a shoestring budget for example. © Provided by Are Media Pty LtdMax Milosevic of Felton Constructions was the architect and builder of this modern family home.
2. identify your style preferences
Even if you already have a good idea of what you like, it's always useful to have examples at hand. The easiest way to do so is by creating a mood board, whether that is on Pinterest, or by using the more analogue method of cutting clippings from magazines. Again, it's fun to be aspirational, but try sticking to designs that relate to your own project.
3. do some research
Try tracking down the architects responsible for the projects you selected for your mood board. If none of them are suitable, The Australian Institute of Architects has a fantastic search tool, Find an Architect, where you can filter by location, building type, and budget. Do not discount the recommendations of friends or family either - if an architect has done good work for them, it's likely they can do the same for you. © Provided by Are Media Pty LtdThere's no such thing as the too-hard basket for Jo Gillies, director of Archisoul Architects who added a thoughtful modern extension to this heritage home.
4. Identify your favourites and contact them
Develop a shortlist of three of more architects and approach each one via email or phone to arrange a meeting in person. Bring along photos of your property, your wish list, mood board and a definite idea of what your budget is. In response, the architect should ask you lots of questions and give you positive indication they can deliver something similar to what you are after.
If the meeting was a success, a site visit may be necessary and then you can request a stage proposal that documents fees for each stage of the project. Typically this would include preliminary design, development application, construction documentation and contract administration.
5. The final weigh in
Weigh up the fees along with your general gut feeling about competency and compatibility. Once you have chosen an architect, trust them to do their job - they are trained professionals who have proven they can deliver.