What is the REAL value of an Architect?

“Australian architects involved in dwelling design create significant and innovative design outcomes; however, this effort is mainly directed to achieving elite objects for a privileged minority.” 

Shane Murray, reHousing Conference, Melbourne 2007

Ten years later, this is still widely the case in Australian residential architecture, with less than 4% of new home owners appreciating the value of architect designed homes and seeking an architect’s design input. Improvements can certainly be made so that innovative design solutions are an option for a greater majority of Queenslanders, rather than a select few.

This has been the passion of our award winning Head Architect and Licensed Builder for over 25 years: to help more and more people understand the real value of an architect.

The continuing issue is keeping in touch with current building costs and the client’s construction budget. As you’ll discover when you read our informative eBook “Custom Home Cost Control“, good residential design doesn’t have to be greatly more expensive than standard plan design, but it does need to closely monitor and assess construction costs throughout the design stage.

Civic Steel Homes’ focus is on considered planning and optimum orientation. In this sense, good design doesn’t cost more, in fact it can provide a more efficient planning solution, and reduce material costs and energy use throughout the life of the home. Responding to the site, sloping ground, surrounding buildings, privacy issues and weather conditions, can save money on site expenses and other after‐ build costs.

The value of architect designed homes is apparent in these images

Get more from architect fees.

Once your successful working plan has been designed and resolved, we can help you get more from your architect fees by focusing on details and style. There are a number of ways to affect the appearance of your home, for example through roofline, elevational form and materials. All the while, we are aiming to follow the simple form of your design (not add tacked‐on facades that present only to the street).

The value of architect designed solutions must also be recognised by the buyer. Bigger is not necessarily better – we see numerous big home designs that are highly ineffective, inefficient and wasteful of space. Nevertheless, the ‘Rate Per Square Metre’ selling point is still sought after by many home buyers. This can be a very misleading measure of value.

Alternatively, you can design a smaller home, at a higher cost per meter, and this carefully designed solution will almost certainly give you more useable space, more natural light, better zoning and greater enjoyment of your home.

In completing the design of your home for the best value possible, it is also important to work within the experience of local domestic trade contractors, developing solutions that they can manage without unnecessary risk or cost.

It doesn’t have to be “architect vs builder”

In the case of Civic Steel Homes, our architect IS a licensed builder, with other in-house ‘hands on’ builders to consult, so there is total synergy. That is why we invariably achieve our prime objective of good architectural design – to deliver creative and personalised planning solutions, with attention to detail, all provided at great value to the home owner.

The value today in good residential architecture is in clever and innovative planning, that achieves comfortable siting on your land and proposes a unique and personal solution to the way you live.

Yes, you can build more cheaply, but when weighing up long term value and quality of space, why not aim for the best architectural solution you can manage within your budget.

For more information and advice about getting more value from an architect, please call 3714 5900 and speak to one of our dedicated Project Managers, or simply click here to contact us.