Whether you are looking to renovate or build a new home, finding the right architect for your project will not only save you time and money, but will also give you a result that will deliver tenfold in years to come.
The Australian Institute of Architects has a directory at www.findanarchitect.com.au that will give you a list of residential architects who will work in your area and at your budget. But how do you pick the right one for you?
Ask friends or contractors which architects they know and would recommend. Learn about the ethos of their practice and look at their previous projects.
Are they aligned with the type of style that you are after? Narrow down a few potentials and set up meetings with them to discuss what you need. Be as clear as you can about what you want and what you can pay.
Ask the architect how they might approach your project and what kind of timeline they need for design, getting permits and construction. Be clear about how much involvement you want from them. Do you want them to manage the contractors, or just supply the plans?
Once you have briefed the architect on what you are after, take a step back and allow them to come back to you with ideas and potential plans. They may surprise you with ideas and solutions that you have not thought of. Developing a trusting relationship with the architect is an important part of the process.
Finally, discussing costs upfront is crucial. If you have no flexibility on costs, see if you can negotiate a fixed fee. Otherwise, you might prefer to pay a percentage of the build cost, or an hourly rate. It’s important that you like the architect’s work and even more important that you like the architect.
You should feel comfortable with the process – after all, they are helping you to create your ideal home.