Hiring an Architect for Home Renovations: What’s the Point?

August 30, 2023

Home renovation can be extremely complex, which is why hiring an architect for home renovations can reduce stress and costs in the long run.  30% of homeowners reported that unexpected problems arising during the renovation that require extra time and money was their biggest setback.

Which is why architects can turn your home renovation from a nightmare into a dream. They can involve redesigning the layout of an entire house, moving walls, roofs and building extensions. It’s a costly and lengthy process, and one that will probably leave you frustrated at times.

Architects are design professionals. Their education gives them a rounded perspective of construction and design work, and are well suited to project managing renovations. Links to the best tradespeople, material suppliers, tips to stretch budgets and the ease of mind that comes from knowing a professional is handling everything, can feel priceless.

What does an architect know that I don’t?

Architect isn’t a position you can work yourself up to - you have to study for it and show real application of mathematics, engineering and design to earn your qualifications. Architects aren’t even allowed to call themselves ‘architects’ if they are not registered with the Architects Registration Board.

Hiring an architect for home renovation is about bringing an intelligent professional with a deep knowledge base to suggest, optimise and action a home renovation plan. An education in architecture teaches an understanding of different materials and their qualities, engineering fundamentals, construction techniques, market knowledge and certain people skills that stem from working in the industry. 

Ultimately, an architect’s value should be judged by what you need, whether that’s a quick renovation, cost-effective renovation or one with all the bells and whistles.

Preventing mistakes and thinking ahead

Most homeowners are not experienced in the world of home renovation and architecture, and may not understand the best materials, design choices or the structural impact of their desired changes.

Changing the layout of a house requires an architect and structural engineer’s assistance to make sure the house doesn’t come crashing down. Homeowners must make sure their desired changes don’t compromise the structural integrity of their home.

Architects can verify whether or not you require planning permission, gain a building regulation approval and notify neighbours before going ahead with any building work on your property. If you go ahead without getting permissions and informing the necessary people, you can apply retrospectively. However, if that fails, you’ll likely have to undo your extension or alteration, which will take a large chunk out of your renovation budget.

One of the main benefits of hiring an architect for home renovation is peace of mind, and the knowledge that a professional is there to stop you from making costly mistakes.

Imagining what you can’t

Whether it’s during their education or work, architects are constantly exposed to different designs. They tend to develop a sixth sense about living spaces and the type of colours, textures and materials that would complement it. Seeing the ‘big picture’ is difficult for anyone who hasn’t seen multiple renovations.

They know how to make full use of all the space you have, even awkward nooks and crannies can be given functions to make them useful. Making spaces aesthetically pleasing and functional is one of the greatest benefits of hiring an architect for home renovations.

Most homeowner-led renovations tend not to be creative or push the boat out in any way - this is where architects thrive. Hiring an architect for home renovations means having options you never would have considered, but looks better than what you had planned. This is where an architect is able to add value to a home’s value.

Saving you money on materials and labour

A locally-based architect who has worked on other home renovations in the area will have a bank of knowledge and information that will come in handy. From the best suppliers to contractors, an architect can help you save your budget from being blown out of the water.

Having connections to local suppliers means architects are constantly bringing business to them. Therefore, local suppliers may be willing to give discounts to architects because of repeat custom. Coupled with architects’ knowledge of materials, you could get better, or more appropriate materials for your need, at a cheaper price than you would have had to pay.

Labour can be the biggest expense during a renovation. One of the greatest benefits of hiring an architect for home renovations is their close links to contractors and builders. Not only do they tend to be of a high standard, but their on-going relationship with the architect means they offer their best rates.

Expertise never hurts

You wouldn’t fit a new toilet without a plumber, or install a fuse box without an electrician, so why renovate your home without an architect?

Your home is a complex structure, and making alterations to it needs careful planning to prevent things from going wrong and raising costs to an untenable level. Architects prevent you from falling into pitfalls, but they can also elevate your design and create value that you could never have imagined. 

Hiring an architect for your home renovation could be the difference between success and failure. If you’re curious about what architects can do for you, speak to our team or check out some of our projects and blogs!

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