Below is a list of frequently asked questions by potential clients looking to use an building designer or Architect in Perth:
"How do I work out my project or construction cost budget?"
"What Budget should I give to my home building designer?"
"How do I work out how much my home will cost to build?"
"How do I know if my builders quote or construction estimate is fair and reasonable?"
"How much should I spend on my new build home or renovation?"
These questions are always tricky to answer generally. When you don't know the answer, it is always best to consult or ask a specialist professional consultant.
For finding out residential construction costs in Perth Western Australia at any stage of a project, or project budgets, big or small, it is always good to speak to a specialist cost consultant such as a QS = a Quantity Surveyor
Another option is to talk to a few local Registered Builders who have worked on similar relevant projects and ask for them to provide a non-contracted preliminary cost estimates or budget advice based on location, site, area square meters, rooms, scope, materials and quality standard of finishes etc. Keep in mind Builders pricing may fluctuate due to their interest in the project, competitive interest, construction costs and market conditions.
If it is for a investment property or investment development (you plan to rent or sell the home) then it is also wise to gauge the local perth residential market and speak to a few specific local specialist realestate agents too.
There are Construction Cost Books available such as Rawlinsons, however these should only really be used by professionals.
Choice Magazine Australia make consumer recommendations and has also suggested using some websites for coming up with an initial construction budget. Some of these are fun to play with picking styles and numbers of rooms, however I think it is still best to speak to a cost specialist to check out and compare their figures, I wouldn't rely on websites only. For assistance here is Choice Magazine's construction cost website recommendations:
What does an Architect do?
Architects have to put on many 'hats' in their profession; building designer, interior designer, home designer, project manager, construction contract administrator, clients agent, architect and client, planning and development approval co-ordinator, and constantly trying to keep up to date with building codes, Australian standards, continuing professional development, design codes, state and local planning policies, design trends and standards.
Because of this it is very tricky to be an expect at all or any of these. This is why there are specialists; Structural Engineers, Hydraulic Engineers, Electrical Engineers, Private Building Certifiers, ESD and Part J Consultants, Planning Consultants, Surveyors, Project Managers and Cost Specialist Consultants such as QS. Generally speaking the more complex a project, the more consultants your project will likely need, and it is one of the architects traditional roles to be the co-ordinator of, and liaise (as client representative / agent) between all of these specialist consultants.
Architects are there to guide clients through the design and building process and try to represent the clients interests and design intent to attempt to end up with a final building product that is as close as they can make it to the original design. Architects communicate their designs through drawings with the client initially and then also specifications for construction with the builder, however if thats where the architect's services end, there can still be a mis-interpretation of intent by the builder. This is where the traditional architects service, through construction to completion of the project, helps clients achieve the design and end product that was originally intended.
Why use an Architect?
The AIA highlight "the unique contribution architects make in promoting community and inspiring clients through exceptional design and an ethical approach to delivering our built environment."