Answers To A Few Frequently Asked Questions:
Architects create a framework for people’s lives, through the design of the buildings that people live and work in. When we are designing we’re:
- giving options
See here for more.
- To make the most of your land
- To have a creative partner to help in the negotiations with your builder
- So it is right first time
- So you will have a great home for you and your family, not something that is just good enough
We always start with a Needs & Options Review.
First of all, depending on where you are and what you want to do you might not need a DA – we can help you work out what you need. For an outline of the development application process see here.
Going straight to a builder means you miss out on an architect’s design, which is nearly always going to be a better solution; see here for a more thorough explanation.
We tailor our fees to suit your project. The fee is usually structured in one of three ways:
- as a percentage of the total construction cost;
- as a fixed fee with a stipulated sum; or
- as a reflection of the number of hours needed to do the work.
We sometimes propose a hybrid arrangement, with an hourly rate for some stages – for example at the beginning, when the scope of the project may need to be explored – and a fixed fee for others – when the scope of work is clear and is not likely to change. For more, see here.
There is no single answer to this question – it is like asking how much does a car cost: it depends. The cost of a project depends on quality, complexity, size, scope, time and site conditions. Architect-designed projects currently cost upwards of $3,000 per square metre in Sydney, with bathrooms and kitchens much more; as the expected standard of quality and finishes increases, so does the cost. As they say at NASA: ‘faster, cheaper, better – choose any two’.
The best answer is to look at our portfolio of projects. All the houses are comfortable and modern, but we do not follow or promote particular styles or trends, as each project and every client is different. We believe in designing buildings that will last for a long time, that are environmentally efficient and as sustainable as possible. We believe that your home should be a robust container for your life, something that will change with you as your circumstances change.
A lot of people make these renovating mistakes. They are in no particular order, but they are all to be avoided.
- Don’t start renovating too early – make sure you have a master plan
- Don’t confuse fiction with reality
- Don’t forget to do your homework
- Don’t avoid design work to save money
- Don’t be impatient – building takes time, and so does design
- Don’t use council drawings for getting prices and building
- Don’t just think for the short term – design for the future
- Don’t undervalue your property or your future happiness
When we talk of sustainable design we look at a building’s impact on the environment from a ‘whole building’ point of view. To assess a building’s full impact we must look at the cost of constructing the building – capital cost – as well as the ongoing costs – operational cost – associated with operating the building, of running the necessary machinery, over its lifetime. The built fabric is critical to lowering the resource use of the building for years, but over time the greater contribution to overall energy use will be the operating cost.
Sustainable design must be flexible to change and contribute positively to the built environment. See here for more.
What we can bring to your project:
Your home is the stage set for your family’s life story. We’ll help you to craft a well-written home.
Some of our Projects:
Read these before you start work:
Clients sometimes approach us saying ‘I want the drawings but I’ll look after the Read more
Hear from some of our clients:
We used Peter not only to design our home but to also supervise the construction work carried out by the builders. Prior to that, however, he accompanied us, at no cost, to several properties we were considering purchasing and provided us with valuable advice on whether or not the property was suitable for the plans we had in mind. The design Peter ultimately submitted to us was excellent – it reflected what we wanted and was both tasteful and refined.
The ultimate product of Peter’s hard work is a home that we are delighted to arrive at each and every day.
Peter handled the renovation and extension of my house from concept to completion. The project started when he accompanied me looking at houses to buy. Peter helped me select a nondescript house which with his skills and expertise had the potential to be light and bright and a great home to live in. Peter’s design fulfilled that vision and I now live in a home which also has a “wow” factor.
Visitors regularly comment favourably on my home and the architectural features which Peter incorporated into the design.
Peter Hill helped me design my home in Balmain. Leichhardt Council had difficult requirements for us to meet. Peter was flexible and worked hard to align my expectations with that of Council. The end result is a lovely building that not only suits my requirements but also has lasting visual appeal.
I am particularly happy with the street presence and general feeling of light and spaciousness from within the building.
Peter was an integral partner in building our new home. Despite challenging design constraints, he worked patiently and collaboratively with us to design a liveable, practical and beautiful space. He listened to all our needs and was always able to suggest improvements or alternate designs so that we always felt we had a range of options to choose from. The new house looks fantastic and our friends (and even some passers-by) have complimented us on how it has improved the street, and our guests have all told us how much they love the space inside. When we build our next house Peter will be the first person we call.
Peter demonstrated meticulous attention to detail and outstanding conceptual ability when constructing drawings for our proposed renovation. Peter ensured that the entire council approval process was speedy and stress-free. When showing Peter’s drawings to prospective builders and to council staff we have received numerous positive comments about how thorough and detailed Peter’s drawings are. We would highly recommend Peter to prospective clients who are after an individualised detailed approach to designing their ideal home.
Thanks to Peter’s diligence with the Planning Department at the Sydney City Council the D.A. was approved in June without any alterations being called for by Council. He then submitted the Construction Certificate which was also approved and all on budget. Unfortunately we had a problem with our original builder who we had chosen without consulting Peter. This delayed our project by nearly a year and certainly made us more aware of the necessity of having and taking professional advice. We contacted Peter again who agreed to take control of our work. He called tenders and negotiated with the builder he felt was best for our project.
We cannot speak highly enough of Peter’s professionalism and commitment to us and our house. We were not living in Sydney during this entire operation and he was always available by phone and email keeping us up to date with all stages and authorising progress payments to the builder. The transformation of our home is unbelievable. We both can honestly describe the end result as ‘gorgeous’. We would be proud to recommend Peter to any prospective client.
We employed Hill Architects for an extension and renovation to our Forest Lodge terrace. This entailed getting a difficult Development Application through Glebe Council [City of Sydney]. All credit to Peter as after an initial rejection by Council, and objection by our neighbours, he was able to persuade Council to reconsider and approve our development. Now we are able to go forward and start plans for the new building.
Contact us about your project:
The best way to start the process is with a Needs & Options Review.
To explore whether we might be right for each other, fill in our web inquiry form below to tell us a little about yourself and your project. If we think we can help, we’ll send you some helpful information and invite you to schedule a meeting during which we’ll give you some initial thoughts, and answer your questions.