Where to start? Try an Architect.

I’ve been asked so many times ‘what does an architect do? ‘. Well, I believe we solve spatial and design problems and create wonderful spaces in which to live your life and spend your time. But what I also believe is if people are asking ‘what do architects do?’, then us architects need to explain, and put it out there to people what we actually do. So here it is in my own words.

We create individual and personalised spaces to suit our clients needs and the way they live. When a new client comes in to see me, I like to establish their overall thoughts on what they need from their new home: bedrooms, bathrooms, living area etc. I establish what they want their new home to look like, and what their budget is. It’s really important to answer these questions honestly and with as much detail you can think of. Don’t worry if you forget something, as architects we will ask you prompting questions or if you think of it later just send it through. I love design and am happy to talk about it all day, you’re not ever wasting our time or asking us silly questions. Our job is to do this with you, to provide you with information so you can make informed decisions about your new home.

I believe that I can turn your thoughts and ideas you bring forward into a beautiful and functional home, which means we need to talk money and how much you are willing to put forwards to this dream. Just because you have a certain sum of money doesn’t mean we need to spend it all, or if you are embarrassed/unsure of your budget compared to the home you want, don’t worry! That’s why you came to an architect to discuss these type of topics. I put forward numbers and approximate costs per m2 and we can go from there.

Alternatively if you don’t know your budget that’s okay, but it’s important to know how much you can afford to spend and this is usually something you should try to establish before you purchase your land. Your budget can be affected by how much you earn, how much you can borrow, how much you have in your bank account and how much you need to save. I can tell you what your dream can approximately cost you and you can take this information to see if this works for your overall budget for the land and home. Best to discuss this with your bank or financial adviser.

If your dreams and budget don’t match, don’t loose hope - one of these factors just has to change and adapt to meet the other. To be honest, it’s normally the dream that adapts, but what I believe we do as architects is take this dream idea and use it as inspiration to design something that is more inline with your budget.

You should definitely take images of your site and the location of your site with you to your initial meeting that you have or are looking at purchasing. I personally like to look at your site that you bring me and review what the most suited construction method we should be speaking about is. Is it retaining, pole home, concrete slab etc. - these methods can start to establish what your home might end up looking like. The site you pick is likely to lend itself to a certain method of construction and this can then open your ideas up to more options/styles.

In regards to contracts and fee proposal, the standard contract used by architects in Australia is the Client and Architect Agreement from the Australian Institute of Architects. Some architects provide a fee proposal as well, this document explains the services and what you can expect from the process.

Lastly, be excited (cause we will be!)! And if the first architect you meet isn’t your vibe, then don’t worry, just try another one. Trust the process, and enjoy the ride. It’s going to be fun, stressful, inspiring and hopefully life changing in the best way possible.

Wishing you the best on your adventures and as always please send your questions through. Thanks for reading.

Check out our associated architecture firm Schlager Architects