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Do I have to use an architect – can’t I just go straight to a builder?

Going straight to a builder means you miss out on the important design stage.

It sounds obvious but builders specialise in building things, architects specialise in designing spaces for a user.

The architect is more interested in the customer experience.

The  house should be designed to be as comfortable – as cool or as warm, as open or as closed – as required. It has to be designed so living in it is easy. It has to be elegant.

If you ask a builder to draw you a house he – if he can draw at all –  will give you something that is easy to build. Builders’ houses generally aim to look at a minimum, in terms of quantity, quality and time to put it all together.

Architecture starts where building stops

There is much more to designing a home than just drawing. A large part of an architect’s role is to help you visualise potential solutions. This may be achieved through the use of models and three-dimensional drawings in addition to traditional floor plans, sections, and elevations. A clear and vivid representation helps you understand what a design solution will look like and feel like, so you can judge it in an informed way.

An architect juggles many factors when solving a design problem

Beyond the fundamental matters of getting the project built and meeting the budget and schedule, an architect’s design integrates a broad range of other concerns:

  1. providing spaces for a client’s unique needs and requirements
  2. how the project expresses the client’s feelings, values, and priorities
  3. how the project relates to its site
  4. how the project fits into its neighbourhood and historical context
  5. how the details enhance the overall effect
  6. the long- and short-term economic benefits of design strategies and material, finish, and fixture selections
  7. energy and environmental responsibility
  8. planning ahead for optional future changes
  9. in alterations and additions, how new work will fit with or contrast with existing construction

By using an architect you will end up with a home that is right for you. You will ensure that your investment is maximised and that the finished project adds value to your property. Badly designed extensions reduce the value of your property.

You and your family deserve better, a home that you will love living in, with a perfect integration of the interior spaces and the exterior.

by Peter Hill

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