Why use an Architect?

“Why should I go to an architect when I can do it myself?”
is one of the more common phrases we hear, and while it can seem cheaper to circumvent and do everything yourself, this is not the case. Using an architect in your construction projects means that you are paying someone else to handle the construction contract, something that can save you time, money, and unneeded frustration.

A good architect will work with you to complete all project stages within your budget. This can include concept design, detailing, tendering, documentation, and contract administration. While all of these stages are important, contract administration is vital for the project to succeed as working with an architect will ensure that any contracts are adhered to, queries and questions addressed, and will act as your liaison with the builder to ensure the project is completed on time with any needed corrections and variations.

Contract Administration – what we do

During the contract administration stage, the architect will:

  • Ensure contract documents are prepared, signed, and adhered to be all parties involved
  • Arrange and attend site inspections to check on the progress of the design, material selection, and make sure the build reflects the contract as well as determining any defects present
  • Review submissions and drawings from the building contract or any other parties involved
  • Offer details, information, and suggestions in relation to items like joinery, lights, and bath ware
  • Clarify contract documents
  • Ensure you are within budget and aren’t overcharged through checking and approving price variations
  • Regularly communicate with the client in relation to costs, time, and overall progress
  • Ensure all provisional/prime costs are recorded
  • Notify the client when practical competition occurs

Can’t I do this myself?

While you can complete a build without contracting an architect, it may mean that your overall build is of lower quality and more expensive. Architects have the experience and know-how to ensure that your design is constructed how you want it with the appropriate documentation to make sure everything is done correctly. They make sure that your vision is carried out, from ensuring that the correct quality materials are being used, to making sure the builders follow the documentation and any variations applied.

Working with just a builder can save costs, but a good builder wants to build, not puzzle over documentation and design problems. An architect knows how to work with building contractors so that they can work to the best of their ability to give you the design that you want on time.

Experiences architects usually have a database of suppliers who they have vetted and work with. This means that they can offer you the best materials and solutions without you having to do the research, such as appliances, lights, bath and tapware, fabrics, hardware, and furniture. They also may be able to supply you with a discount which would be unavailable to the standard buyer.

Whether you have a new build, a renovation, an extension, or something else, the benefits of working with an experienced architect are clear, and hopefully we have convinced you to meet with one before you start your next project.