For many years I must admit to being quote opposed to use an Architect and their (what I considered) exorbitant fees.
When it comes to house design I pretty much think everyone else’s idea is a good one.
Also I am not really one for putting my own stamp on things. All this meant I ways thought there was enough house designs out there already so why not just buy off a prescribed house plan rather than looking at designing your own pile. Just look through the catalogue and pick the design you want. In recent months though I am not so sure….
Why the shift? Having worked with some Architects recently on a project (not my own project I must admit) and also talking to some people who used an Architect on a one off build it seems they perhaps represent value for money.
One way is by being aware of available grant aids. Many countries offer some form of grant should your home (typically a refurbishment) reach a high level of energy rating. Generally the Architect will be aware of such schemes. As well as what is required to reach the level where the grant is achieved.
Also Architects will be a great help when important decisions need to be made on site within a short period of time. For example one morning the builder comes up against an issue and gives you 3 options. He needs your reply by the end of the day!
Where do you turn?
Well the Architect will be invaluable here. Also when it comes to choosing a Contractor you will often find the Architect has excellent relationships with Contractors who have a good track record.
Finally Architects know what will add value and what won’t. They will also advise on where it’s worth spending on structural elements and where you can scale back, such as with finishes etc. to stay within budget.
Thinking to build your own house?
Why not start by looking for a site on www.listproperty4free.com