Home Construction Tips

Is it ok to design your own house without an architect?

Table of Contents
    Add a header to begin generating the table of contents

    It is quite unusual in the rest of the world that building a house in Australia does not require the services of an architect.

    You actually do not need the assistance of any kind of design professional.

    It is possible for you to create a plan on your own, have it documented in a suitable format by someone who possesses the necessary skills, and then have it approved and built. You are good to go as long as you comply with the building legislation and standards in your country, as well as the local planning requirements in your area.

    Are you looking for the best constructions for homes? No need to look any further! You will have access to the most comprehensive list of house plans ever compiled by Hitch Property Constructions.

    The Common Reasons Why People Don’t Use Architects

    Home Construction Tips

    They’re Too Expensive

    Depending on how difficult or extensive a project is, architects typically charge between 10 and 15 per cent of the total cost of construction for their services. In general, the percentage decreases in proportion to the height of the construction cost.

    Additionally, their fees will be proportional to the total cost of construction; this means that if your allotted funds for construction increase, so will their fees (find out more about that frustrating fee arrangement here).

    Because you will have to make sacrifices in other areas of your construction or renovation project if you give an architect that large of a portion of your budget, it may appear to be too expensive to do so.

    However, that ten to fifteen per cent of the total cost is what it will cost you to have an architect partner with you throughout the entirety of the project, all the way up until it is finished. Is it possible that you do not require such a high level of assistance from an architect?

    Perhaps you only need assistance with your design, and you'll be able to locate assistance at a lower cost or handle the rest of the project on your own.

    You don't have to use an architect throughout the entire process, but if you do, you'll get a significantly better result overall thanks to the contributions they make at the appropriate times (especially in the design).

    If you are planning a modest project, getting off to a good start with the appropriate strategy and design ideas can save you a tonne of money over the course of the undertaking.

    A consultation with an architect will typically cost anywhere from $150 to $400 per hour. There aren't many projects that I'm aware of that wouldn't gain anything from an hour of assistance from an expert at the start of the project, or even at some point in the middle of the project.

    Don't forget, too, that hiring an expert to direct and assist you can actually end up saving you money in the long run. In terms of design, better strategies, the elimination of mistakes, access to discounted items, and exposure to a significantly larger portion of the industry than you are able to access on your own.

    Find a qualified expert who has a track record of success in adding value in the manner described here.

    They Will Design Me Something That’s Over My Budget

    Unhappily, the experiences of a great number of homeowners support this one, and it is not limited to the experience of working with architects.

    There are many homeowners who start a project after having first established a clear financial plan and then working through the design phase with the professional of their choice. They reach the conclusion, discover that they adore the end product, and then have a builder help them determine how much it should cost.

    In addition, it is either 1.5 times, twice, or three times their budget. They either give up and admit defeat, restart from scratch, or drastically reduce the scope of their original plans. When viewed from that vantage point, everything appears to be a compromise.

    As mentioned before, this experience is not unique to those who are currently employed as architects. Furthermore, the fact that you are not employing an architect won't protect you from having to deal with it for your project.

    There are some professionals who have a track record of consistently falling short of their clients' financial expectations, despite the fact that they continue to attract a large number of customers.

    And some professionals are able to deliver projects that far exceed the expectations of their clients for the same amount of money or less, as well as everything in between. At Hitch Property Constructions, we offer a wide range of affordable home renovations.

    How Do You Keep Your Project on Budget?

    • Conduct thorough research on the professional you intend to hire so that you can find someone who has a proven track record of adhering to budgets.
    • Be transparent about what it is, and do not engage in deceptive behaviour with your designer in an effort to "keep them honest." It does not foster the development of a trustworthy partner in the long run.
    • Maintain a backup plan in case the project runs over its budget.
    • Pay attention to your chosen expert every time they tell you something will cost more money or that something is not within your budget.
    • Get a quote on the cost to build your project early on in the design process (don't wait until you have all your approvals to get a quote on how much it will cost), so that you have the ability to make changes along the way.

    They Won’t Listen / Will Only Design What They Want

    There are some extremely egotistical and condescending architects in the world, and they won't even bother to listen to what you have to say. There are construction workers, architectural designers, and skilled labourers who are similar to this.

    And there are architects and other professionals who are amazing at understanding a client's brief and designing an outcome for them that is not only what the client asked for but also completely exceeds their expectations for their home. And these professionals can be found.

    What’s Key Is That You Find the Right Professional for You:

    • that you have the impression you share values with and that has a worldview that is comparable to yours.
    • that demonstrates strong communication abilities right off the bat and has a solid track record of effectively collaborating with their customers
    • uses a method of working that emphasises collaboration and takes into account the contributions of others
    • works in the aesthetic style you're looking for or has experience working on projects similar to the one you're working on
    • that you put in the effort to research the company and verify their credentials with their previous customers and projects

    And That You Then:

    • Make a brief that describes what it is you want to accomplish and that is crystal clear about your needs, wants, budget, and timing.
    • Have faith that the professional you hired can use their experience to help expand your perspective.
    • Have open and frank conversations about the times you feel like you're being railroaded or that your voice isn't being heard.

    I or my uncle/friend/brother/builder has an interest in design

    “Ask an Architect" was a website that was formerly managed by the Australian Institute of Architects. When the website first went live, it launched a somewhat controversial advertising campaign with slogans such as:

    • If you were to ask a butcher about broccoli, you wouldn't expect an answer. Therefore, if you are interested in construction, check out askanarchitect.com.au.
    • "You wouldn't ask a hairdresser about heart surgery," the speaker continues. Therefore, if you are considering a renovation, check out askanarchitect.com.au.

    The effects of these are quite dramatic, and it is easy to understand why they would have irritated some people in the industry.

    On the other hand, you might not be aware of this: Australia is very unusual in comparison to other countries around the world in the sense that you do not need the services of an architect to design or draw up your home.

    You can design it however you want, and most places in Australia will help you get it drawn up according to your specifications. You won't be stopped by anyone.

    On the other hand, if you were investing $50,000 or more in the stock market, would you solely rely on the experience of an unqualified friend or family member who has some experience trading stocks? If they had proven and consistent performance in investment, then you might be interested in working with them.

    Is it possible that you would reach the same conclusion if you had invested $200,000? Or $500,000?

    Think of the money you are about to spend on your renovation or build as an investment in the home you are about to create and the quality of life it will assist you in leading as a result of the home's creation. In order to feel confident that you are making the best choices for that investment, what kind of advice should you seek (and from whom should you seek it)?

    An Architect Will Just Want to Use Me, and My Project, to Win Awards

    The fact that architects are still evaluated solely based on the houses they design is one of the problems we face today. If you’re looking for an architect – or any other designer for that fact – you’ll look through photos of the homes they’ve helped create.

    Winning awards is something many architects, and other professionals, seek to do because it helps them build their profile and their reputation, which in turn helps them get clients. It helps get their work "out there" in the world.

    Certain customers will base their choice of professionals entirely on this factor alone. Some enjoy the status of saying an award-winning architect designed their home, and it can add value for resale also.

    Let’s look at the stats though:

    In Australia, there are over 11,000 architects who are registered to practise (and to legally call yourself an architect, you have to be registered with the Board of Architects).

    The Australian Institute of Architects runs the main industry awards for architecture. Only a small handful of homes receive awards each year, with each state probably only entering 40 or 50 homes at most.

    Architect-designed homes count for 3 per cent of the 150,000 + homes built every year. That's 4,500 brand-new houses all told. We’re not talking renovations here either.

    So there are a lot of architects, and a lot of homes, that are not winning awards and still creating great homes. And there are some that will only be producing homes of mediocre quality.

    If the only reason you choose an architect or other professional is because of the awards they've received, but you don't talk to any of their previous customers to find out how the process went for them, you might not be doing your research thoroughly.

    You should put any professional you are considering working with through a series of tests and inspections to ensure that they are a good fit for you and your project and that they are on the same page as you regarding the goals you are trying to accomplish.

    I Don’t Want Anything Complicated

    Think of some of the most well-designed things you are familiar with. iPod, post-it note, and safety pin: these are the three essentials.

    Each one would have started with a requirement or desire that wasn't overly complicated.

    Music that is easily transportable and can fit in your pocket. A bookmark or note that does not adhere itself indelibly to the surface it is placed on. A pin that won't poke you in the skin.

    However, the planning that went into their creation and the effort that was put in to make them as wonderful as they exemplify excellent design.

    They are not complicated. Useful. Functional. Fit-for-purpose. Beautiful. Make your life better. Easier. More convenient.

    Even though what you want might not be overly complicated, I'm going to guess that you want it because you think it will improve the quality of your life.

    In order to get the most out of your money and make the most of every chance to make your life and your home more comfortable.

    This is made possible by ensuring that the design is accurate. Therefore, regardless of how straightforward you believe your requirements to be, it is imperative that you seek the assistance of a design professional in order to ensure that the final product does not make your life more difficult in general.

    Hire a Certified Professional Building Designer

    top granny flat builders

    Employing a Certified Professional Building Designer, also referred to as a Home Designer, to plan the layout of your new house is yet another option that will help you save money. Home designers do not have the same level of education or the same licencing requirements as architects, and their fees are usually lower.

    Nevertheless, professional home designers maintain professional certificates which demonstrate that they have completed coursework and achieved experience in the field.

    Looking for high-end Constructions Melbourne carpentry services? Look no further! Hitch Property has you covered.

    What Is a Building Designer?

    Building designers have taken the place of those who were formerly known as draughtsmen. This title change is a reflection of the way in which their roles have evolved and changed over the course of time.

    It is possible to become a building designer coming from any one of a variety of design-related backgrounds; some building designers may even have degrees or experience in architecture, but they are not officially registered as architects.

    A building designer doesn't require any qualifications or credentials at all. There are no requirements for licencing or registration of building designers in the states of Washington, New South Wales, South Australia, Northern Territory, or the ACT.

    However, it is important to keep in mind that the work carried out by any building designer does need to be in accordance with the local building and planning regulations; otherwise, the structure in question will not be constructed at all.

    Advantages: Designers of private homes are experts in their field; they do not work on commercial buildings, shopping centres, or gas stations. Because of this, a home designer may have more experience designing houses than some licenced architects. Architects must go through years of schooling to become licenced. A skilled home designer can craft a bespoke dwelling that is specifically suited to the needs of your household.

    Disadvantages: Home designers, like builders and real estate developers, typically create traditional floor plans for residences. Home designers, in general, do not have the training necessary to create designs that are particularly complicated or unusual. You will need to hire an architect if you have specific requirements, or if you want to create a home that is truly one of a kind.

    When You Really Need to Hire an Architect?

    Because of this diversity, architects are able to see possibilities and find solutions that are tailored to the specific requirements of their clients.

    A good architect will be able to anticipate your requirements, in contrast to a builder or home designer who may make some modifications at your request.

    What Is an Architect?

    Before being granted the ability to work as a professional in their field, aspiring architects must first complete a number of internships and pass a registration exam.

    These requirements typically take up to five years to complete. To create the home of your dreams, an architect can take your unique design ideas and incorporate them with the fundamentals of good building design.

    Your project will receive architectural drawings, plans, and renderings from a professional architect.

    However, in addition to this, they will be able to assist you in establishing a budget that is reasonable, guiding you through the planning procedures of the local council, obtaining estimates for the cost of materials and labour, and managing the consultants who will need to be hired during the production phase of your build or renovation.

    Homes that were constructed by architects are in high demand in the current housing market because of the often one-of-a-kind floor plans they feature, the incorporation of environmentally friendly or energy-efficient features, and the superior material selection found throughout the house.

    An architect can also give you advice on how to position your house and design its floor plan so as to make the most of the views, sunlight, shade, and aspect that are available to you.

    Your architect can also oversee the entirety of your project, from the beginning to the end, as well as the documentation and administration involved.

    Architects have a variety of pricing structures for the various types of work they do, and these structures change depending on what aspects of the project they are in charge of managing and for how long. The fees charged by an architect are also a reflection of the individual's level of experience.

    What Architects Do

    When working on certain projects, architects often wear many different hats. They might come up with the design, be in charge of the drafting, decide which materials to use, and oversee the entire production process.

    In an ideal scenario, your architect will go to the location where the construction will take place, observe the path taken by the sun, take note of the predominant winds, sketch the existing vegetation, and try to anticipate the best views.

    Not only does an architect understand what can be built structurally, but they also have an eye for symmetry and proportion when it comes to building additions or remodelling existing spaces.

    In some cases, the architect's responsibility may consist solely of drawing up the blueprints for the project. If you are able to locate stock blueprints that are comparable to the house of your dreams, you might be able to employ an architect to make modifications. Altering an already-existing floor plan will almost never result in an increase in the total cost of the project.

    A qualified architect will take the time to speak with you and other members of your family before beginning the process of drafting a design.

    The architect, like any other type of professional, will learn about the way you and your family live by asking a lot of questions, including the following:

    • Who will call this house their home? When did they reach those ages? Whom do you anticipate requiring your care in the not-too-distant future? Do you want areas that encourage activities that can be carried out in a group or by a family, such as watching television?
    • What is the relative value of having a formal and an informal dining room?
    • Do you enjoy throwing parties for people? In what ways should the kitchen be made available to groups?
    • Do you consider your bedroom to be a sanctuary where you can go to get away from the world during the day? Or is the bedroom nothing more than a place to lay your head down?
    • Do you require a secluded location for your computer to be used? Or, would you rather have a media centre that is conveniently located and where adults can keep an eye on the children?
    • What aspects of the house that you are currently residing in give you cause for concern? And what is it that you enjoy most about the house that you currently live in?
    • Is your motor vehicle a member of the household?

    Cutting corners on the design does not make good financial sense, regardless of whether or not you are working within a constrained budget. Employing skilled professionals can help you avoid making costly mistakes, and they can also ensure that the home you construct is perfectly suited to the way you live your life.

    The Cost of an Architect

    In contrast to paying for medical expenses, there is no such thing as insurance for architects.

    When it comes to the total cost of constructing a brand-new house, the hiring of a qualified architect can add anywhere from 8% to 15% to that total. A rate that is determined by the hour can be negotiated for jobs of a lesser scale, such as specific remodelling projects.

    The architect will keep track of the "billable hours" and charge a professional rate that is typically determined by the state of the local economy. This rate ranges anywhere from $60 to $160 per hour on average.

    Keep in mind that the amount of money an architect makes personally may differ from the amount that an architectural firm charges per. When Frank Lloyd Wright worked for the architect Louis Sullivan, he did so on a freelance basis for this reason.

    Cost-Saving Options for Your New Home

    Almost without exception, licenced architects were responsible for the custom design of the breathtaking homes that are featured in glossy magazines.

    They are the one-of-a-kind products of men and women who have the expertise and the knowledge to investigate novel and unanticipated avenues of possibility. But what if the dreams you have for yourself are more realistic? Do you need to work with a specific architect?

    Maybe not. You might prefer something more conventional, in which case one of these more frugal options might be the best fit for you.

    Who Should I Choose for My Project?

    Both architects and building designers are capable of producing work that is just as impressive as the other, and the fees that each charge for their services are actually quite comparable. Building designers are probably best suited for projects that are less expensive and on the smaller side.

    When compared to a building designer, an architect typically has more experience, is more qualified, and is more capable of providing a higher level of detailed design.

    This is because architects are responsible for the actual construction of a building. For larger projects and buildings that will be more than three stories tall, the use of architects is strongly recommended.

    When deciding between an architect and a building designer, it is important to conduct research into their previous work and experience as well as gain an understanding of their design style. These aspects will play a significant role in determining whether or not the end result of your project is successful.

    Also, take into consideration the scope of the undertaking as well as the level of difficulty. Consult with an architect if you want to build something that is extremely large, one-of-a-kind, has experimental or difficult design features or fittings, or any combination of these things, because it may be in your best interest to do so.

    On the other hand, you should think about hiring a building designer if you want your small to medium-sized project to be beautifully designed as well as functional and attractive.

    FAQs About Home Construction

    The process of designing a home can be very time-consuming and difficult because it is a crucial stage that is responsible for turning your vision into a reality. However, the end result will be a home that is uniquely you. It is essential to keep in mind, throughout the entirety of the project, the "why" behind your desire to design your own home. You will find that this will help you get through the toughest parts of the journey if you do this.

    The simple answer is that it is! It is not necessary to hire an architect in order to create your own home design. On the other hand, if you plan on designing your own home, there are a few things you absolutely need to be aware of. The flow in your home needs to be improved.

    To put it another way, it is in your best interest to involve an architect in the process whenever you intend to add new space to your property that will have an impact on its appearance from the street. It is not required by any statute that you hire an architect for any project, but doing so can help you produce a structure that is both safe and in compliance with local building codes if you are working on a significant renovation or addition to your house.

    Employing an architect is a decision that will be well worth your time and resources if you are in need of an architectural design for your home and want to ensure that the design of your home takes into account your individual preferences. You are going to be granted your every wish. Licensed architects each have their own unique design process that they follow.

    In situations like these, working with an architect can not only save you money but also add value to the project. You may be able to cut costs on future operational expenses by having a project that was designed professionally and with careful consideration. Your monthly energy costs will go down as a result of this change, which means you could end up saving quite a bit of money in the long run.

    Google Rating
    Based on 12 reviews
    Scroll to Top