Building or buying—do I need an architect?

Aqeelah Bawa-Osman Aqeelah Bawa-Osman
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So you may be considering buying or building a house. The question is whether an architect will help create the home you only dreamed of through well planned ideas, or whether you need the assistance of an architect in order to purchase that home you’ve had your eye on?

Contacting an architect to determine whether a building is in perfect condition should definitely be considered, regardless of what the estate agent may say. Although the recommendations made by architects are often overlooked, this Ideabook compiled by homify will answer those common questions regarding the hiring of an architectural professional to construct or assist with purchasing the family home of your dreams!

Should I seek professional help to build my house?

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Building a house is not an easy task, and although it is exciting and fun, it may also be a drawn out and tedious process. There are is a lot to manage—everything from deciding on designs and colours to managing contractors. Building your own home is no side project! In fact, although well-meaning friends and family might try to help with advice on what to do and what not to do, it is ultimately your choice. They may have told you an architect is an unnecessary expense, and that they can help because they have Autocad skills… but an architect brings so much more than just drawings!

The homify advice to you is that it is important to hire an architect. An architect will ensure that a home is up to code and meets certain building standard requirements. It is a necessary expense that you may regret not making at a later stage. An architect will draw up the plans to create the perfect home, an unnecessary stress for you to deal with if you do not have any experience!

Does an architect help me decide what I need?

You may be extremely excited to purchase land to build your new home on, but before you complete the transaction, ask your architect for advice—there may be something you missed or didn't even think about regarding the terrain and it could cost you a lot more in the future.

The architect will determine things like which side of the ground is more favourable for the garage, the type of municipal services available for the area, as well as the building regulations and zoning that may restrict building height or distance from the property line.

An architect can advise a new home builder on where best to place bathrooms in a two storey home, as well as where the staircase should be built for a family home. Trusting an architect with years of experience can help you reduce construction costs, creating a fantastic family home instead!

Can an architect advise me on buying a house?

You may decide that building a home is a bit too involved and time consuming, and therefore are opting to buy an existing home instead. An architect will be able to advise on whether a home is well constructed, this includes everything from electrical installation to sanitation and even the structural integrity of a home.

When viewing a home as a prospective owner without experience, you will probably not notice potential design and construction flaws such as the size of the rooms or the location of the bathrooms, but an architect will analyse the orientation of the home and determine whether or not it is a good investment.

Is an architect able to assist with home style choice?

You may have always had a clear idea in mind for your home design, but now that building or buying your own home is a reality, you aren't too sure about where to begin. An architect will be able to recommend style choices that best suit the needs of your family, while bringing in the personal touch of the owners and creating a special design.

However, if it's detailed decoration you need assistance with, then it's probably a good idea to call an interior designer or decorator to create that warm and inviting touch to the inside of your home. But, if you need some home design inspiration for your façade, then this Ideabook may be just what you need: 9 Amazing Modern Houses!

Who can advise me in technical problems?

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An architect will draw up the plans for a home and coordinate with a team of professionals specializing in structural, plumbing, electrical and environmental engineering, while each professional has their own technical area of expertise to manage.

Although the architect creates the vision, the other engineering professionals within the team ensure that the calculations for the home are correct and meet building regulations. So in terms of who advises on technical issues, the architect can detect a technical problem, but it is up to the other engineers within the team to handle the resolution of the issue.

Will I save or spend in hiring an architect?

Hiring an architect may seem like an unnecessary expense. But, consider the time and effort that goes into drawing accurate plans for a designer home and taking into consideration the best dimensions to create a functional and practical house, not forgetting about effective construction cost reduction, then hiring an architect is your best bet.

You will save not only in terms of value, but also in terms of the inconvenience and mistakes that may occur when building your own home, without the assistance of a professional.

Do architects guarantee their projects?

An architect is bound by a professional code of conduct to ensure that all projects they undertake have been accurately checked, this means that an architect is legally accountable for the project bearing their signature. The same goes for the other professionals who sign off on their projects within a home.

So before you decide on saving some money by not hiring a qualified and certified architect, think about the risk involved if things go wrong! At least an architect has to account for any errors that occur under their watch!

Have you hired an architect to build your home? Or did you do everything yourself? Have you ever had an architect overlook an existing property? Te...
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