My last blog introduced Steve, who emailed me with some typical questions clients who are embarking on a new building project often ask. I covered Question 3, in my last blog “What’s the difference between an architect and a draftsperson?”.
This blog will address Steve’s Questions 1&2.
This is a typical email we receive.
The Following was from Steve in Croydon in April.
I’m looking to put a second storey on my duplex (semi-detached home). Friends suggested we use “c…..d”, so we got them to do a proposal. In their submission, they have an allowance for the design, drafting and gaining the planning approvals of $15638.00. The thing is….we don’t like what they have designed “it pretty generic”. Is this sort of project too small for an Architect, and what would you charge? How’s an architect different to a Draftsman anyway?
Steve has touched on a couple of items here:
- How small is too small for an Architect to become involved in?
- What do architects’ cost? and
- What is the difference between an Architect and a Draftsperson?
Firstly, how small is too small? Well the simple answer is there are no rules, and you just have to ask. Whether a job is too small for an architect can vary widely depending on the experience of the architectural firm and the circumstances of your project. Sometimes firms with an architectural team of varying seniority will allocate smaller projects to the more junior Architects within the firm as they provide great opportunities for more junior Architects to develop skills and have a project that they can “sink their teeth into”. I’d like to add a caveat; this approach is sound as long as the design is under the guidance of an experienced and senior Architect.
Whether you are adding a pergola, an outside BBQ area, a granny flat or alterations and additions for your home, there is always a need for it to be a functional and aesthetically appealing space. Engaging an Architect for a small project can make the difference between a space you occasionally use to one that’s used all the time.
Architectural critic Sarah Williams Goldhagen said in an interview on ABC’s – Blueprint for Living…..
“If the built environment isn’t supporting you, then the chances are it’s probably hurting you…..Everyone needs better – indeed, good – landscapes. cityscapes and building of all kinds”.
An Architect can work with you to help make “all your spaces” good spaces to experience life.
On to question 2: What do Architects’ cost?
It’s a common misconception that architects are expensive. But expensive compared to what? A draft person or a building designer? However, the services they offer are quite different, and they have unique skills and expertise. A good Architect who understands your needs and brief can help turn your dream home into a reality and ensure your property is functional, stylish and attracts buyers when the time comes.
Architects fees vary because each project is unique and has varying requirements; broadly, we work out our costs with consideration to the following:
- As a business, we keep timesheets to track whether we are making or losing money on a project, and after a while, you can tend to pick how long a project should take.
- Then there are site-specific issues that also need to be considered, like is the site in a bushfire zone or on flood-prone land?
- Other projects required extra reports, like a site in a conservation area will require a Heritage Impact statement, so additional time is needed.
- Some approval bodies require documents to be coloured or named in a specific format, I know this sounds like a small thing, but these little things add up and may add many hours to a project.
As I mentioned in the first blog, the following is a very rough guide to the split-up of time, for typical standard alterations and addition project.
|Design Brief & Measured Drawings||2.5%|
|Development Application/Planning Permit||5%|
Like everything in life you get what you pay for, at Willoughby Architects, we work hard to build strong relationships with our clients, councils and builders and this helps to keep the project running smoothly and keep costs contained.
For more information about how Architects charge and what to expect when you begin to develop your budget, check out the following article by Erin Delahunty for Real Estate.com, How Much Does an Architect in 2019?
Willoughby Architects is an architectural firm based in Willoughby on Sydney’s lower north shore, we design, organise approvals and project manage the building process for new build homes and renovations for existing homes. At Willoughby Architects, we are committed to producing sustainable, innovative architecture. Learn more about Willoughby Architects and see some of our new build homes and home renovation projects or get more information about the design process today.
Contact Wayne, Principal Architect at Willoughby Architects on:
Phone: 0412 998 027
About the Author: Wayne Farmilo, Founder & Principal Architect of Willoughby Architects has been a registered Architect, in Vic and NSW, for 25 years. Wayne started his practice NSW in 2002, initially focusing on the retail and dining space; however, since 2012, the practice has actively focused on residential design projects.