Confused or curious about what it means to work with an Architect to design your home - read on!
Please feel free to Contact Us with any other questions!
What is an Architect?
An Architect is a professional who has spent a minimum of five years at University and holds both a Bachelor Degree and Master. They are then required to complete 2+ years of practice as a Graduate Architect before sitting their own equivalent of a lawyers bar exam, which tests their knowledge on design, construction, and contract administration (sometimes known as project management).
What is the process of designing a home with an Architect?
Here at AYMOTH, we really value the input of the client towards their dream home - after all, who lives in it once it's finished!?
This means there is a lot of collaboration in the process, and an intensive "briefing" process occurs before the pens even touch the paper.
Keeping in mind that every firm works slightly differently - we've outlined our main stages below;
1. Initial Meeting
Once you make contact with us, we'll tee up a complimentary meet+greet at your site (for new builds) or home (for alterations/extensions) so we can get to know each other a little and pass ideas back and forth. Because designing and building your own home is such a personal (and sometimes stressful) experience, you need to find your Architect easy to get along with, and know that their style compliments your ideas. Essentially it's a job interview for both parties!
2. Signing the Contract
Once you have made the decision that we are the Architect for you, both parties sign an agreement that goes over the responsibilities and expectations of each. This includes small things like agreeing to regular email updates, but also big things like payment timelines and rates.
3. Project Briefing
The most important stage of all to making sure you get what you didn't even know you needed!
We research restrictions and opportunities, like heritage overlays, sloping sites, and local council housing laws (including bushfire ratings). This is also where our comprehensive paper interview takes place, so we can both understand where the project is headed in regards to design style, room requirements, and how your family lives, and hope to live in your new home.
4. Initial Sketch Design/ Space Planning
This is where the big, over arching ideas of your project get sketched, discussed, and developed. Planning where rooms go and connections between them, how to best place everything on the site, and some exciting design ideas all happen here.
5. Sketch Design Development
Leading on from everything discovered and analysed during the first sketches, we fine-tune room sizes, sketch up how your home looks from the outside, start making building material choices, and any other changes needed. This can sometimes take several "rounds" of design-client review-redesign-review-etc.
6. Initial Quotes - OPTIONAL
Some clients choose to make initial inquiries with Builders at this stage to assess that the budget has not gone off track - note that it is a fairly rough guide and some builders will not want to speculate without further detail.
7. Development Application Drawings + Approval Process - SOME PROJECTS
Most suburban homes do not require development permission for alterations/new builds, but in areas where bushfires, heritage restrictions, or other issues occur, some councils require you to apply for approval. We put together the drawings needed for this stage of the project and organise any liason with Bushfire Assessment Consultants/etc.
Some Clients choose a Sketch + DA service only, so here is where we would handover your project.
8. Design Development
Further detail in areas such as kitchen layouts, landscaping, bathroom design, and custom cabinetry. This is where we determine how your home looks inside and out - this stage is often the most fun for the client.
9. Out to Tender
Obtaining quotes from a minimum of three builders - finding out how much the project costs, and making sure the builder's are quoting for the same things.
10. Deciding on a Builder
Decisions are made on a combination of criteria - price, previous work completed (experience), and timeline availability are just some points to consider.
11. Building Permit Drawings + Approval Process
Much the same as the DA stage, but all projects require a Building Permit Approval. This is where we bring in consultants like Engineers and Environmental Star Rating experts to assess or certify the project.
12. The Real World!
After your local council grants you a Building Permit, siteworks begin! Some final finish decisions are made on site, and any hiccups are managed with a smile. The most exciting stage of all, except maybe...
13. Completion/Move In
All parties (client/architect/builder/etc) agree that the home has been finished as agreed in contract, and you can move in and enjoy - phew!
I know roughly what I want in terms of rooms/other features, and have strong design ideas...
That's great! Finding out what is really important to you is one of the first stages you and your Architect will go through - it helps steer the project and provides core ideas to fall back on during the design review process. The more you let us know what you want, the more we'll both be sure you'll end up with your ideal home. Some people go to their Architect with 10 years worth of magazine clippings and scribbles! But if you're not too sure about what you want at this point, that's fine too - it all gets addressed when we build the brief together.
Good Articles on Building Your Own Home
- Goes over some important Builder's jargon that is important to understand when choosing who will construct your project.