05 Feb 5 Important choices to make before engaging a Builder or Architect.
Renovating or Building your dream home can be an exciting prospect, but it can also be a daunting one. Choosing the right Builder or Architect is so important and you can find loads of information on how to choose your Builder or Architect, but what steps or choices should you be making before even reaching out for quotes?
Here are 5 Important things to think about and decide upon before engaging a Builder or Architect.
1. Get inspired!
It is very important to know what it is you want for your dream home. Do you want a minimalist modern house or a contemporary classic design. Searching online and even visiting some display homes will give you some inspiration and help you to know for sure what look and feel you are after.
Websites like Houzz or Pinterest have great visual inspiration and home design magazines will get you excited for your new home or renovation. Start with a Vision Board and collect as much design elements as you can. Don’t hold back as things can be trimmed back later, with a Builder’s or Architect’s input.
2.Build or Renovate- New new or New old?
After deciding on what you want in your new home, you can decide to build new or renovate your current home. Television shows like “Love It or List it” shows the pros and cons of renovating versus buying an established new home. If the home you are in is too small and land is scarce, perhaps building a new home is the go. Keep in mind that building a complete new home can cost considerably more than a small extension to your home. This is where step 3 comes in.
3. Budget- Dollars make sense
Deciding on a budget can be an unnerving task at times, but it can be easier if you look at it from another perspective. A budget should not be the most you can afford. Research for yourself how much average builds or renovations can cost in your area or contact a local builder in your area to find out more and decide on how much you would be reasonably willing to pay for your project. Its up to you if you want to be rigid in your budget but I advise clients that some flexibility is required as Builders and Designers cost vary depending on their level of workmanship.
It is always worth it to pay more for Quality over Quantity. What does this mean? Homes are built on three different levels of finish, Low, Medium and High. As you would expect High quality costs more generally, and Low less. And the larger the work the more the cost, so its sometimes more efficient to build less at higher quality to fit your budget, and sometimes the other way around. For an approximation of building costs for a new home build of different finishes, go to www.bmtqs.com.au and use their cost calculator.
The Bitterness of Poor Quality Remains Long After the Sweetness of Low Price is Forgotten.—-Benjamin Franklin
4. Reasons- Be sure of the Why?
Knowing why you want something can be just as important as knowing what you want. Giving reason to your desires can help you later when the going gets tough. Is it for your family? Is it for investment? Is it to sell? Is it because you deserve it?
Being sure of the why, can give you drive and direction when it comes time to decide on the big things but more importantly some of the seemingly smaller things. Ever had a shower and there was not enough pressure? Seemingly small thing, but if this project is for you and your family future, it can be an annoying thing you overlooked.
5.Builder or Architect
Believe it or not this decision can greatly influence how you proceed with your project. In essence an Architect is focused more on design and the practical flow of a building, whereas a Builder is focused more on the construction aspects of your project. Many Builders will suggest the use of a Building Designer or Drafts person to draw up concept plans and working drawings. This is not inherently a bad thing, this can actually keep costs down in some instances and some Builders do have a great design eye after many years of experience. Some Builders also engage their own chosen Architects to do the design phase of a construction contract, which usually results in good co-operation with both parts of a project.
Besides all these factors, deciding on who you got to first will typically be the person who leads the construction project. My suggestion is find the right starting point for you, if its an architect, thats fine but be sure to get the input of a builder (either the architects chosen builder or one you have selected yourself) before plans are finalised, as this will ensure your costs of construction are kept under control. I’ve seen it all too often that an Architect will draw a set of beautiful new home plans, for the owner later to realise that they cannot afford to build it.
Doing some research will help in deciding who to choose. (visit The Undercover Architect to learn more about this subject)
Finally, it’s time to contact someone about starting your project. With these choices made and direction set, you will be better equipped to search for your New Builder or Architect.
Good luck and Happy building!
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