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Won’t an architect’s involvement drive up the cost of my project?

Architects fees pay for extensive forethought about a project before any concrete is poured.

By thinking through and drawing the design in detail, an architect can identify potential trouble spots where special attention may be required, thus minimising surprises and controlling costs.

A full set of construction documents allows the builders to provide complete prices, thus reducing the likelihood of cost increases during construction.

Ask yourself, do you want the project drawn or do you want it designed?

A well considered, well executed design adds value to your home.

If you are comparing an architect designed house with a house from a project builder, then the costs will be higher for an architect designed house, but the quality will be higher.

An architect designed project is custom designed to suit the wants and needs of you and your family on your site; it is  more complete, more complex, and will be better to live in.

It is not the same as a project-home that is already designed but may not suit your site or your needs, and which you get to ‘customise’ by choosing the colour of your kitchen bench top and bathroom tiles. Many things that are considered in an architect designed project are left out of project-home builder offerings to lower the upfront cost. When you depart from the standard product of a project-home builder the costs rise quickly: if your site is not flat you will have to add substantial costs for site works, and you will still need to provide landscaping; if you want more solid walls, rather than the thinnest plasterboard – you will be charged more. Builders’ houses generally aim to look at a minimum, in terms of quantity, quality and time to put it all together. There is a very good reason why builders’ houses go up the way they do and so quickly: it is economical.

Every project has a budget, but which is your priority?

A large house, cheaper per square metre, built in a hurry?
You probably don’t need all of those square metres – you need a place that feels like a home.

If quality and content are important a smaller architect-designed house will deliver very well.

An architect’s involvement won’t drive up the cost of your project. Instead the quality of the result will be a great improvement on what you can expect from a project builder.

by Peter Hill