Should you hire an architect for your next project? - Building AU
Should you hire an architect for your next project?

Should you hire an architect for your next project?

To do, or not to do (it yourself), that is the question

Words by Tanisha Angel

Regardless of how many mood boards you’ve created or how long you’ve spent trawling design forums for inspiration and advice, when it comes to building a new home or adding an extension to a pre-existing structure, it can often be difficult to turn your dreams into something tangible. An essential part of any renovation or new building project, an architect helps bring ideas to life, balancing the way you and your family live with your aesthetic goals to create a home that’s both liveable and visually appealing.

In Australia, architects are required to be registered with the relevant state board to legally practice in the country. To be eligible for registration, architects must hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in architecture – accredited by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia – with the minimum degree duration being three years. They must also have at least two years of experience working in the architecture industry. Following this, prospective architects must pass an Architectural Practice Examination, a competency assessment that consists of a written exam, completion of a logbook, and an interview with practising architects.

Here’s why it can be valuable to consider engaging an architect for your next building project.

Alpine Terrace Residence by Johnston Architects | Photography by Simon Devitt Photographer

Financial savings

For many homeowners, the perceived cost of hiring an architect can be prohibitive. However, this is a common misconception, with architects working across the entire spectrum of homes, from modest abodes to mansions. Enlisting an architect can also aid you in saving money during construction by providing detailed drawings to increase the accuracy of building estimates and reduce errors during construction. For those looking to heavily reduce construction costs, architects will design with affordability in mind, employing efficient floor plans and simple home design, while recommending sustainable low-cost materials and innovative construction techniques.

Great Ocean Road Residence by Rob Mills Architecture | Photography by Mark Roper& Interiors |

Energy efficiency

Designing with environmental sustainability in mind is becoming the norm. Savvy architects not only consider sustainable materials in the building process of a new build or renovation, but employ passive-solar principles in the design to best make use of the building’s orientation, location, and layout to achieve thermal comfort in an energy-efficient manner. This aids in promoting long-term cost savings while reducing the ecological footprint of your home.

Project management

An experienced architect will act as an advocate for you, enabling you to achieve the best possible outcome. If project management or coordination is included in your agreement, your architect will obtain any relevant building permits and work cohesively with your builders and other contractors to avoid construction delays and ensure your project is completed in the most efficient way possible. Plus, the majority of architects have cultivated good relationships with trusted builders and other professionals, passing on both their expertise and cost savings to you.

Yusta House by Blair Smith Architecture | Visualisation by Kaleido

Improved quality of life

Architects don’t just design with functionality and aesthetics in mind, they take your current lifestyle and the way you use your home into consideration while complying with building and council regulations and construction best practices. Adequate ventilation and orientation towards natural light are taken into account, improving day-to-day quality of life and ensuring your space is healthy and liveable in the long term.

Future planning

Particularly important when building a forever home, architects will take your potential future needs into account. Homes for couples and families ageing-in-place will incorporate flexible and adaptive features, with floor plans potentially spread out over a single storey. Similarly, homeowners foreseeing adult children moving back in may require a design that allows for increased privacy in certain areas of the home.

Blackwood Rest by Bijl Architecture | Photography by Adam Gibson

Long-term savings

Good design sells. Research has shown that architecturally designed properties appreciate at a higher rate and perform better on the market than properties in the same location designed without an architect. A recent research project undertaken by the University of Melbourne and industry cooperative ArchiTeam found that small-practice, architect-designed renovations improved capital gains in Melbourne by 1.2% per annum, with each $1 spent on architectural fees translating to a gain of $11.40 in capital appreciation for the homeowner. For the median Melbourne house price of $1,200,000, after 10 years the homeowner who employed an architect would be $256,000 better off than one who didn’t.

Find a trusted architect on ArchiPro, and explore their projects.

Words by Tanisha Angel

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