How To Ensure Your Architect Delivers Plans You Can Actually Afford To Build

The building or renovating your home may well be the most expensive journey you ever embark on. So naturally, you want to get it right the first time. There are so many horror stories out there of people who have spent big on a talented architect at the start of a project, only to find out that the architect has cost so much they can no longer afford to build their dream project or the completed architectural plans are completely out of their price range. Once you’ve made the exciting decision to build, there are a few key things worth considering to ensure your architect delivers plans you can actually afford to build. Research a Realistic Budget Before You Do Anything Else Before you approach an architect, you should have a rough idea of what you’re looking to spend. You’ll need to conduct some research into what you can actually afford to spend, what exactly you want to achieve in your build and what it might actually cost to build it. A good place to start is to look at other projects, similar to what you are looking at and find out approximately how much they cost to create. Once you have a rough budget in place, it’s a good idea to get in touch with a builder to chat about whether this is realistic and what hidden costs may be involved that you hadn’t considered at first. You can read more about how to calculate your initial budget here. Be Wary When Selecting an Architect  There are many talented and experienced architects out there who will work closely with you throughout the planning phase to ensure you get the home you want for the price you need. However, it’s important to be wary as some architects are out of touch with reality, placing the aesthetic value of a project above reality. You don’t want to end up with an expensive wad of house plans that you can’t actually afford to build. For more about this, read Ingrid and William’s costly horror story here. In saying that, architects do not cost consultants or building experts, so you should work with an architect and a builder in conjunction to find a happy medium between beautiful design and realistic cost. The best way to select an architect that will have your best interests at heart is to look for architects who have experience with projects similar in standard and scope to yours. Make sure you interview a few architects and chat to friends, family and even builders to find out more about them before making a final decision. It’s also important to find their references, explore their portfolio and ask around – doing your homework before you make that all important final decision is integral. Know Your Rights Make sure you know your rights and familiarise yourself with the Code of Conduct for architects in your state before you engage one for your project. In Queensland, architects are bound to the Board of Architects of Queensland’s Code of Practice, which ensures they act with professionalism and integrity at all times. Each code also states an architect must design and deliver a project within the given budget or advise the client at the earliest possible stage if the budget is unrealistic. If you’re unsure of your rights, familiarise yourself with your states code before doing anything else. Check In With Your Budget Regularly + Be Flexible It’s important that your budget is flexible. Sometimes things change or you’ll realise you want to spend a little extra on something that you’ve discovered along the way. A good ballpark is to be 15-20% flexible with your initial budget. Also, remember that your architect has likely done this before, so if they advise of budget implications you should take it on board. You should also endeavour to make any necessary changes as early on as possible as this will save you money – last minute changes can be incredibly costly. Check in with your budget regularly to ensure it remains realistic and that your architect and builder are sticking to it. Nothing should ever break budget unless you have given the okay. Design + Construct Ideally, you want to find a builder who can design and build your home all under the one roof. This will save you time and money in the long run and will make your build journey more seamless and stress-free. Working with a Design + Construct builder means you have one project manager, one point of contact and one person to turn to when issues arise, things go awry or you simply want to change something. To learn more about having design and construct services under the one roof, get in touch with Linear Design + Construct today.
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