Hiring an architect: Myths and benefits


When it comes to designing a home, many people are wary of involving an architect. A range of myths pervade perceptions of what working with an architect entails. Here at R ARCHITECTURE, we’d like to bust a few myths and share the many benefits that involving an architect in your home design and building project can bring.

Myth 1: Architects are only for the rich

This is probably the biggest myth, and it’s easy to understand why. The pages of glossy magazines are full of multi-million dollar architect-designed homes. However, depending on the practice, there are architects that will work on projects across a range of scales from interior remodelling and cabinetry design, to a small extension of a suburban home to a bespoke design for a luxury beach house.

At R ARCHITECTURE, we specialise in new family homes at the affordable end of the spectrum. Our fees can vary from between 2-6% of the build cost or from $50 per square meter up to $130 per square meter. The rate will vary based on the size of your project, the range of services you engage us to deliver (architecture, interior design and landscape design) and the phases of the project we are involved in (design, development approval, documentation and construction).

Our design approach is highly personalised. We form trusting partnerships with our clients and work with them to inject their character and preferences into their new home.

Myth 2: Architects only care about how the building looks

While architects are well-trained to bring creativity to the form and materiality of the built environment, our approach is far more holistic. Some of the key benefits we bring to home design are environmental sustainability and the optimisation of light, views and space.

With regard to light, this means orientating your home so that it is warm in winter and cool in summer and ensuring your spaces are full of natural light. Maximising occupant comfort, and ensuring the home is an enjoyable space to inhabit are key skills that an architect can bring to your project.

Space is also crucial, architects are experts at planning spaces that relate to each other well – and in ways that reflect your lifestyle. We’re also great at maximising storage and making small spaces feel spacious and functional. We don’t see why all homeowners shouldn’t enjoy these basic aspects of a well-designed home.

Myth 3: An architect will make my project more expensive

Contrary to popular perception, architects can actually help to keep the cost of a home down via the use of innovative construction techniques, clever use of affordable building materials and clever planning to enable smaller homes to adapt to a variety of functions.

Having a strictly defined budget is actually a great design challenge as architects are trained to deliver the maximum value from the available budget.

An architect can also help you to save money during the construction process by working closely with you and your builder to resolve any issues and make decisions in the most cost and time-effective manner. In this way, they act as a knowledgeable middle-person who can advocate for the building owner and assist to achieve the best construction outcome.

There is also evidence that involving an architect in your project is a solid investment. New research from the Melbourne School of Design at the University of Melbourne has found that using an architect for your new build or renovation leads to better resale values and higher capital gains in the long run.

Building a family home is a really exciting opportunity and a very personal journey. At R ARCHITECTURE, we see it as our role to assist our clients to make their dreams a reality by customising our design approach to suit their budget and aspirations. If you’d like to learn more about whether our home design services are right for you, visit rarchitecture.com.au or contact us on (03) 9802 0225 to arrange a free, no-obligation consultation.

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