Whether you wish to build a new home or office, extend and remodel an existing one or simply refurbish, it makes sense to employ an architect.
Whether you find a shortlist of architects to choose from via the web, or friends and neighbours, it is helpful to have references to call on to check how responsive they were to work with, and to see how successful the outcome is.
They do not need to have done exactly what you had in mind, as you are not buying from a supermarket, and an architect will design something bespoke for you and your location, but you need to feel happy about their approach.
Employing someone can be a little nerve wracking and you need to choose someone with whom you can build up trust. You need to be understood, as well as told when you are going wrong. They need to listen to what you want to achieve and what your time and cost constraints are.
The architect will help you go from a loose idea or wish list, which you probably have little knowledge how to progress, to writing a project brief and then through various processes getting you an optimal design that can be built.
Apart from detailed expertise and experience, an architect can visualise outcomes and think more laterally, coming up with alternative options you would not have thought of. They not only think outside the box, they design it!
They can develop a design concept with you about the art and style, look and feel of the end result, which they will need to keep an eye on throughout the process. The architecture is the vision that brings it all together and impacts from the design of a wardrobe to an apartment block.
An architect can help with a range of processes from the smallest intervention to a whole new building and the earlier they are involved, the better the outcome.
You can employ them for just the design, or include getting the relevant permissions to build. Then they can detail and specify materials and workmanship and help you find a competitive builder and then administer the build contract. They will certify your payments to the builder and monitor the coordination, resolving detailed construction issues on site. They can also focus on the smallest details, that you will not realise make a qualitative difference to the end result.
An architect may charge fees as a % total project cost, as a fixed sum or on a time basis, depending on the work, and will invariably save you more than that with the effects of their skills at the various stages by thinking through and planning the design and construction that you require, as well as helping you find a competitive builder to achieve it….and leaving you with a more valuable end product.