Architects assist thousands of Australians each year in turning a simple idea into reality through the construction of new homes or renovating and extending their existing homes.
However, many property owners seem to bypass architects and choose to go directly to a builder. By doing this, are they getting the best project value for their dollar?
I decided to approach local architect Andrew McFadden from PAWA Architecture and asked him to provide some insight into the benefits of working with an architect, and explain exactly what they do. Here’s what Andrew had to say:
The term Architect is reserved for those professionals who are registered under a government-regulated Board in their respective state or territory. Registration is earned through a combination of academic qualifications, significant practical experience and intense examination process.
Architects are simply sophisticated problem solvers. They possess exceptional design flair and creativity and know the construction industry inside out.
An architect will help you maximise the potential of your building or renovation project whilst guiding you step by step through the design and construction process.
An Architect may suggest practical options that you (and the builder for that matter), may never have considered. Through rigorous testing, they can explore innovative ways of utilising space and light, look at how to improve the overall function of space, provide ideas for materials and finishes and create design solutions to maximise value and minimise cost through smart, climate-responsive energy efficient design.
The outcome of all this? A well thought out set of client-driven design principles and ideas translated into a set of working construction plans that can be tendered out to a preferred list of builders for fair and competitive pricing.
The role of the architect does not stop there. They may also be appointed to act as the agent for the client to administer the construction contract with the builder. Typically, this encompasses such activities as managing progress payments, coordinating site meetings, controlling quality and finishing on site and all whilst maintaining the project is on track, on time and on budget.
Last financial year, there were almost 500 reported dispute cases between the client and builder to QLD Building and Construction Commission (QBCC) in Cairns alone with potentially many more unreported cases. Most of these cases could have been avoided through the appointment of an Architect.
By law, the Architect remains impartial to both parties throughout the execution of the building contract (ie construction phase). Disputes between the client and builder often arise out of a lack of informed knowledge and understanding by one of or both parties.
An Architect is far more than just a Designer. They are communicators, project managers, contract administrators, collaborators and most importantly, sophisticated problem solvers.
It is important for the Architect to form a strong rapport with the builder.
Architects take the risk out of what may be seen by clients as a very stressful and demanding process. However the Architect actually revels in the challenge and enjoys every single moment of it.
Jason Thomson is a Cairns based Mortgage Adviser and Finance Broker with clients all around Australia. 130+ Client Reviews featured on his website proves that Jason is a true industry professional. Using his wealth of experience in financial services, he thrives on delivering superior service. Jason is very approachable and is always looking for new clients to help in the often confusing world of finance and property.