architect advice

Five questions to ask an Architect before renovating

Have you been thinking about taking on a major renovation that may require the input of an Architect in order to get the result that you’re hoping for?

Whilst deciding to utilise an Architect can be a smart decision on a major renovation, choosing the right Architect can be challenging unless you’ve worked with one before, or you know someone who has, (and can therefore recommend their services). With this in mind, here’s some tips on a few questions you can ask a potential Architect to help you decide whether they’re the right person for the job.

  1. What sort of experience have you had?

It is important to establish not only how long they’ve been an Architect, but what type of work they’ve been doing. For example, they might have been designing supermarkets for 20 years, but that might not be much help if you are looking to extend a classic period home.

  1. What role are you comfortable with?

Different Architects will offer different levels of service, (with appropriately different fee structures). Some may only want to design the project, others will be experienced in dealing with Council to gain approvals, whilst others may envisage overseeing the entire building process. Be clear on what you hope to get for your budget.

  1. Can I choose my own builder?

Some Architects have particular builders that they work with regularly and have strong lines of communication with. They may be reluctant to be actively involved with a project if they don’t know the builder.

  1. How long would you expect the project to take?

It’s worth getting an expert’s opinion on a likely timeline, particularly as an experienced Architect will have a good idea on likely delays, such as gaining Council approvals and permits. They can also provide an estimate of the total costs, and where the potential blowouts may occur.

  1. Will it involve vacating?

This question might surprise some people, but it’s amazing how often people begin a renovation without realising that they may have to move out, and without factoring that into their budget! It’s worth asking the question.

Perhaps the biggest question of all, but not one you can ask your Architect, is whether renovating is the best way to achieve the housing solution you are looking for. Have you checked whether moving house to a place that already has all the features you are considering adding might be a more practical, more cost effective and less stressful way to achieve your goals?

Don’t forget that the team at Ian Reid Vendor Advocates are good people to talk to when it comes to weighing up your options on moving versus staying…and if you do decide to move, you’ll find lots of tips on cutting stress and saving money whilst selling in our booklet, “FATAL REAL ESTATE TRAPS EXPOSED”. Feel free to download a copy while you’re here.