Are Architects Worth the Money?

The magnificent homes you come across in design magazines are usually designed by architects. They are the brainchild of skilled professionals who know how to come up with something new. However, if you are considering a new place for you and those closest to you, your plans might be more modest than some of those you have seen featured in magazines or on television. As you might expect, the skills of an architect don’t usually come cheap and you might think that your project doesn’t merit the involvement of one of these highly qualified individuals. Either, you can enlist the services of an architect or go for the below mentioned cost reducing options, especially if you are looking for a traditional touch.

Purchasing a stock building plan

Out of the box plans are created by home designers & architects as a sort of ‘one size fits all’ method of home design.

Upsides:

Given the wide availability of these types of home designs and plans, they should cater to just about every style and size of home, as well as budget. Find one that you like and you can make sizeable savings.

Downsides:

The one size fits all approach of these off the shelf type plans means that they will not be catered specifically to your individual requirements and there may be aspects to the design that are not to your taste. You also need to consider that the plans probably haven’t been drawn up taking into account the specifics of your local area and any requirements it might entail. Often-times plans like this will make a great starting point that can then be tailored by an architect to suit your own personal tastes and any location specific criteria that must be met.

Large scale housing developers

Generally, all new large scale housing projects are developed by these type of housing developers. They will usually own the piece of land being developed and have an agreement to build a certain number of homes on that piece of land, to designs that have been drawn up specifically with that plot of land in mind. These kind of developments will only use plans created by, or for, the developers themselves. You can purchase property in developments like this ‘off-plan’ i.e. before it has been built but you will still be constrained by the limitations placed on you by the developers. The kind of features that you may be able to influence are things like the window fittings and interior elements but the majority of features will be outside of your control.

Plus points:

Homes built in developments like this tend to be built fairly rapidly and at a lower cost than bespoke developments. The construction firms involved will be familiar with these kind of developments and should get the job done with the minimum of fuss or stress to you.

Downsides:

Your house will be one of many, very similar looking homes that are part of the same development. Whilst some limited personalisation is possible, it certainly won’t be your tailor made, dream home. In order to produce so many homes, in such a short space of time things are often done to keep costs and development times down.
What does a professional home designer do?

Another cost-saving option that is available for you is to take the services of a certified professional building designer, widely been regarded as home designer, playing a significant role in your house designing. Although not trained and qualified to the same level as an architect, depending on the needs of your project, a home designer may well be able to give you everything you need. The cost of hiring one of these designers is usually significantly lower than that of using an architect. These designers do have a professional certification, so you do not need to worry about their mode of working.

Benefits:

One of the most important things about these designers is that they have expertise in private houses – not shopping centres, gas stations and office buildings. As such, a good, certified professional building designer may have more relevant home designing expertise than an architect. If you manage to find a right kind of home designer, you are going to get a customized house, ideal for your family.

Potential pitfalls:

Although not mass-producing their designs, they will often stick to tried and tested methods and approaches, rather than employing really innovative and unconventional methods and techniques. You are much less likely to get really unique or unconventional ideas when working with designers like this. If you are interested in a completely unique design, hiring an architect is the way to go.

Talking about architects, they are licensed professionals, having expertise in all sorts of areas. Every architect has to undertake a minimum amount of training in order to become a qualified professional. Like other professions (legal, medical) the training required lasts around 7 years. There are many exams as well as on the job training and experience as part of the qualification process to be an architect. Not only are they able to design your home, they can come up with solutions to complicated engineering problems and work closely with you to make sure your home turns out exactly the way you want.

What is the role of an architect?

The answer of this question is not that straightforward as in plenty of projects, architects play wide variety of roles. The most obvious and well known aspect of their work is, of course, coming up with the designs for a building project. However, this is just the beginning of what they do, which also involves liaising with the construction crews, making sure all local laws are conformed to and organising paperwork. Ideally, it is the responsibility of your architect to inspect the building site and observe the sun direction and trees placement. When you take these services, get ready to pay extra money, generally in the range of eight to ten percent.
Questions architects are likely to pose (in no particular order)

  • Where in your home do you like to view TV from?
  • Where do you normally eat? Do you need a separate dining area and if so, how formal would you like it to be?
  • Would you like to be able to have frequent get-togethers in your new home?
  • Do you treat your bedroom pretty much like a sanctuary where you devote lots of daytime hours? Or, bedroom is just your sleeping place?
  • Do you ever work from home and if so do you require a separate office area in order to do so?
  • What are the issues you are facing in your current house?
  • And, what are the things you are happy with about your current house?
  • What sort of modifications you want to make in your current house?
  • What sort of budget do you have?

A good architect will be able to help you get the most out of your budget and get you the new dream home you have always wanted.

So, after reading all that perhaps you have decided that you want to employ an architect, you can determine how to choose the best one to employ along with numerous other useful information and facts here at our website architectsincambridge.co.uk