We offer a wide range of architectural services and are happy to tailor what we provide to suit your needs and budget. What architects actually do is not common knowledge in the community and explaining what work is involved is a major part of early meetings.
"...happy to tailor what we provide to suit your needs and budget"
Most houses in WA are designed and built without the input of an Architect. Designers and drafts people can draw up plans, often the design process is controlled by the builder from start to finish. Cheap concept designs may be used to lock you into construction contracts that can actually be pretty vague on what it is that you will end up getting. It is hard to compare construction costs without having detailed drawings and specifications.
It takes time to work with you to design your home. We believe that investing in the design process prior to selecting a builder gives you the advantage of being able to benefit from a competitive tender process. We work with you to create a shortlist of suitable builders who then compete to win your job.
"investing in the design process prior to selecting a builder allows you to benefit from a competitive tender process"
By hiring an architect you are hiring a professional who will ensure your house is the best it can be. Our fees are transparent, you are our client and it is only your interests that we represent throughout the whole building process. We don't use lock in contracts or charge any fees prior to starting work.
Typically our services are divided into three main stages. You can engage us to do one, two or all of these depending on your needs.
STAGE 1 - Schematic design
This first stage is the easiest to explain and comprises what most people understand an architect to do. First we help you formulate your brief, visit and research the site in detail and begin to develop design options. Through much drawing, modelling and many meetings, your project will take shape. By the end of this stage the drawings that are required for planning approval by the local council will be completed. The overall dimensions of the building will be set and the size and location of windows will be shown. If the building was designed to be constructed as a typical project home these drawings would be almost ready for construction.
STAGE 2 - Design Development & Documentation
The amount of care and attention that architects typically put into this stage is probably the biggest single thing that differentiates an architect designed home. While getting things right at the schematic design phase is of upmost importance, this is where things are brought together to form a coherent whole. What the building is to be made of and how it comes together is resolved in detail. Materials and finishes are selected, built in furniture designed, lighting and electrical components are integrated into the design. The work of other consultants such as a Structural Engineer is co-ordinated. By the end of this stage detailed drawings and a specification will be produced. This will allow builders to provide an accurate tender price and satisfy what is required to obtain a building permit for construction. The thoroughness and quality of the work done during this phase will have a large bearing on how smoothly the construction process runs.
STAGE 3 - Contract Administration
This stage begins with us calling for tenders for the construction of your new home. We prefer to use the ABIC series of fixed price construction contracts. These are produced by the Australian Institute of Architects and Master Builders Australia and are more weighted in your favour than some other contracts commonly used by builders. We administer the contract and act as your agent in dealing with the builder. Having an architect perform this role takes a lot of the potential stress for you out of the construction process. We assess any claims by the builder for variations or extensions of time, along with certifying the monthly progress payments. The main reason for engaging us to perform this is to make sure that what we have designed is what actually ends up being built on site. Issues inevitably arise that need design solutions, guidance may be needed to make sure that everyone involved knows what needs to happen to achieve the desired results. We keep a close eye on things on site and make sure that any last minute changes or selections contribute to the overall design.