Why you need an architect

"I came down the stairs and she was just standing there. Crying." Chris at We Design Homes discussed the positive impact an architect can have on creating a home that is perfect for you and your needs.

...Because it's worth it.

The reaction of my friend’s partner to the completion of their architect-designed house was a visceral expression of joy. She was moved by what the two of them had created, in concert with their architect.

Your home is the most emotionally important work of architecture you’ll ever encounter. No matter your love for Tower Bridge, the Taj Mahal or the Sydney Opera House, you’ll never have to engage with the built environment like you do in your home. No other building will stir your emotions and fire your imagination like it.

Commissioning, briefing, collaborating and building with an architect is not an ‘easy’ thing to do. The right architect, such as you might find at We Design Homes, can work with you to create something that not only serves as a good place to keep your stuff, but as a place with the power to elevate you.

mustard architects

Inside Out House, Mustard Architects (Photo by Tim Crocker)

But the true joy of architecture is how it makes you feel. The way sunlight passes over an exposed section of parquet flooring. The view from a box-frame window capturing a vignette of your garden. The cosiness of your first winter’s evening in your new home.

Chris, We Design Homes

...Because a good architect is a master of space.

Designing and building a home is a devilishly complicated business, no matter who you choose to undertake that process with. There are the site constraints, the vagaries of the planning and approval process with your local authority, building regulations for a safe and compliant design, not to mention choosing contractors and consultants. Your architect helps you navigate those obstacles before you’ve even considered how your home will work, and what it will look like.

Those final two considerations – how it will work and what it will look like – are listed in order of importance. For the most part, we consume architecture visually. Of course, we are concerned with how things look. But once you are living in your architect-designed house, or with your architect-designed extension, you’ll marvel at it how it works, and how it makes you feel. The ability to consider the way you live and arrange rooms to maximise the volume a sense of flow. To use colour and texture and rhythm to reveal and conceal. Seemingly simple considerations like the positioning of power sockets, and the height of kitchen benches can have a big impact on how you live in your home. 

Your architect will work with you to understand what’s important to you, how you live, what your plans are for the future, what you like and, just as importantly, what you don’t. They will present you with ideas and possibilities that, for all the design magazines and episodes of Grand Designs in the world, you would not have considered yourself without their expert knowledge and experience.

So, why wouldn’t you? Most people site the cost of commissioning an architect as the major obstacle to working with one. And no doubt, there is a premium to be invested. But your architect can help you save time and money.

By doing the thinking and making all the requisite changes to your plans before you get on-site, you can save money and save yourself added frustration. Changes made after you’ve started building are invariably expensive.

banana plant house
yard architects

Banana Tree House, YARD Architects  (Photo by Richard Chivers)

...Because it doesn't have to be spenny.

Your architect can help you with prioritising materials and their costs. They are constantly updating their knowledge to understand what’s out there in the market and what alternatives are available. They can help you with fixtures and fittings that can do a great job for a lower price. They also know the price of craftsmanship and its value. They can help you find the right trades for your job.

The skill of the architect can also save you money after your house is built. Their design skills can reduce the energy your new home or extension consumes, and the amount of energy it wastes. What you spend on your architect can save you elsewhere and deliver a vastly superior result.

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St George’s Terrace, Robert Rhodes Architecture + Interiors (Photo by James Balston)

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