Why should I use an Architect?2017-02-01T14:05:39+11:00
Architects have the training and experience necessary to guide you through all aspects of the design, approval and construction process. In order to be allowed to legally use the title “Architect” we are required to complete a minimum of 5 years of study along with two years of recorded, practical work experience and a professional registration exam. Architects are also subject to Professional Conduct Regulations governing their service to clients. For some, outside of the initial house or land purchase, a building or renovation project may involve one of the largest sums of money they spend in a lifetime. It just makes sense to get the best advice you can from a trusted professional before making such a large investment. Architect-designed buildings are also becoming more and more desirable (and therefore more valuable) as the market place becomes increasingly design-concious, sophisticated and aware. In fact in a recent media release, Archicentre figures indicate that renovations and homes designed by Architects can increase the property value by at least 10%. Click here and download the Fact Sheet “Architects Add Value” for more information.  
How can an Architect save me money?2014-03-03T13:58:56+11:00
Architects work with you directly to discuss your needs and tastes, so that your project design brief sets out all the parameters for the design of a home that will complement the way you live, both in the short and long term. Families grow and change over time – tots become teens in an instant! A well planned, architect-designed home or renovation can evolve with change over time, saving you from the costs associated with building larger, less flexible spaces. Architects are also able to advise you on the selection of building materials and design your home in order to minimise ongoing maintenance and running costs.
We are thinking of building or renovating – where do we start?2017-02-01T14:05:39+11:00
Start by giving Metroworks Architects a call or drop Melissa an email! Initially, Melissa will discuss your project over the phone or by email with you, to determine if she can help. A suitable project will be large enough or of high enough quality or complexity to justify the services of an architect and will have a scope of works that can be served by your budget. Before your project begins and before Melissa is engaged as your Architect, she recommends that you first proceed with a “Discovery Package”. You will meet Melissa on site to discuss your project needs and share initial design ideas. Melissa will then prepare a report that includes a Design Brief, Feasibility Review, Regulation Review as well as a Schedule of Services and Fee Proposal – specifically for your project. Further detail on the Discover Package is provided on this page. Once engaged, invoices are sent out regularly and include detailed itemised statements of work done. Typically, Metroworks doesn’t charge percentage fees – each stage of your project is discreet and separate so you are not locked into completing further stages with us if your situation changes. You are free to take on our services stage-by-stage. We can be engaged to complete just the concept design stage, for full service or somewhere in between.
Architect designed or project home?2017-02-01T14:05:39+11:00
While project homes have a place in the market providing affordable housing, they have several disadvantages when compared to architect designed homes. For a start, they are an off-the-shelf “product” meaning that they have been designed to suit a large number of clients on a large number of “typical” sites. The quirks of your particular site are usually not taken into consideration, that is the design does not consider the sun aspect, slope, neighbouring buildings, street character, views etc. Project homes often have a style that is recognisable and therefore can date quickly and lose value. By their nature, project homes are built quickly and to a price, and so their finish can be lacking. Additionally, project homes companies typically do not work on renovation projects and so cannot help you to assess the pros and cons of renovation vs new build. On the other hand, an architect-designed home will be designed specifically to suit your site and your design brief. Although this is typically a more expensive way to design your new home, some architect-designed homes can be cost effective and the design tweaked to ensure you get value for money where it counts. While the construction costs of these houses are also often more expensive, the attention to design detail and build quality ensure the house a greater longevity and value. Unlike project homes, with a one-off, architect-designed house you have an unlimited choice of design style and finish and a home that is truly your own.  
I’ve heard “horror stories” – how can I avoid costly mistakes?2014-03-03T14:00:57+11:00
Dont’ rush. The best way to avoid making mistakes in your renovation project is to give yourself time to understand and absorb the proposed design. A good architect will guide you through the design process and all the areas where work is required to make sure that you have had a chance to consider your options. The other important way to avoid errors is to keep your lines of communication open – both with your architect and also with your future builder. Talking through concerns or questions early greatly reduces the risk of disputes or misunderstandings later on in the process.
How much does it cost to build or renovate a house?2017-02-01T14:05:39+11:00
It is very difficult to put a fixed figure to a project until you have some idea of its scope as there are a lot of variables that have an affect on the final cost of a building. Some examples from a long list include:
  • What materials will be used for the building’s construction?
  • How big is the building?
  • How complex is the design?
  • Are the fittings and finishes of a high quality?
  • Where is the site ?
  • Is the site difficult to work on – e.g.. steeply sloping, limited access, etc
As a rough guide, the cost of a “project home” could range from $1,000 – $2,000 per square metre, whereas a custom designed home could range from $2,800 up to $4,000 or more per square metre for luxury homes. These rates relate to the building only and do not include things like landscaping, pools, driveways, earthworks etc. It is highly recommended that a cost estimator or pre-selected builder be engaged as part of the design team to help advise you on cost and budget planning.
Can you help me with a landscape design to finish off the project?2017-02-01T14:05:39+11:00
Yes! Metroworks now offers garden design services as well. Melissa can help you design your garden layout and choose the plants most appropriate to your site and your preferred garden style. Having the garden designed by the same person that designs your new home or renovation allows design continuity throughout the project and helps to reinforce the link between inside and out.
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