Having become a new homeowner several years ago, I had a multitude of visions for transforming my property into a beautiful, luxurious, and inviting space.
Ideally, to achieve this, I would have had to seek advice to; convert my garage into a front room, have a separate en-suite built and installed in the spare bedroom, extend the kitchen, and to have an additional room built at the rear of the house.
I was, of course, aware that any renovations that dramatically changed the interiors and interior structures of my home would be rather costly.
Regardless, I began to view renovation and decorating ideas online – this only added to my cost concerns and further verified my incorrect assumption that architects are far too expensive to hire and that they only take on massive jobs in mansions and villas.
Armed with such misinformation, I sought assistance and advice from local builders and tradesmen who offered vast differences in costs and timescales. It also became apparent that I would have to do all the legwork and arrange materials as well as any other tradesmen required, for example, electricians etc.
It appeared that my visions would remain a dream as I was not prepared to take on all the stress.
That was until I spoke to a nearby neighbour who had recently had a double garage converted into a room and an extension of a semi-open plan kitchen. Whilst explaining my predicament, he advised that the advice I received from builders would not be suitable for the works I wished to be conducted – rather what they were proposing were cutting corners to complete a below standard job, that, in the long run, would not be cost-efficient.
On his recommendation, I began to make inquiries into architects as they would offer to advise after a thoughtful evaluation. In the end, I hired an architect – and she exceeded my expectations. Here are my reasons why I would recommend the same for any home conversions or remodelling:
My architect considered and listened intently to my specific requirements and desires. Using her training and skills, she will be produced and proposed detailed designs that took into consideration the style and characteristics of my home and aligned it with purpose and functionality. She also advised and consulted me on every step of the process between conception and completion.
Undertaking all the Legwork
Whenever I see an aesthetically pleasing building, I previously would never have given any thought to the process behind its build. Having gone through structural changes in my home, I can now understand the value of an architect as it is their job to create designs that adhere to structural safety rules, which requires knowledge of materials used in construction. Overall, this saves the client time and money, and should a problem arise, the architect is there to rectify the issue without losing on the initial design or increasing the costing of the work.
Although Architects can be hired to simply advise and design, for a small fee, I hired the architect to be responsible for my project till its completion. She was the one who arranged and coordinated each aspect of the process, through
hiring sub-contractors and ensured they understood their respective roles in the works to be undertaken and ensured that the work was conducted properly and according to plan.
She also arranged relevant documentation such as planning permission etc, which was a huge weight of my shoulders.
This saved me a lot of stress knowing that I had contact with only one person to consult with when required. This way, it was easy to express concerns and issues throughout the duration of the project and nothing was lost in translation.
My architect was constantly emphasising sustainability in her design and in the construction. She continuously advised that by considering this, money invested in my home changes would last a long time, and, in turn, save money due to the efficient design she has proposed – something which no builder had ever advised me of. I am seeing the benefits of this already through my decreased electricity bills.
Today, I am incredibly pleased with the look and quality of my home and I appreciate how easy my chosen architect made the entire process for me. She worked with the budget I had in mind and from there identified the appropriate materials etc.
Ultimately, to anyone considering any form or conversion in their
homes, I would strongly advise that you would benefit greatly from the
expert design of a licensed and experienced architect.