This article may help you in avoiding costly mistakes most people make when they chose the cheapest price on the market.

Guess what? Only 1.5% of the Houses in Australia are "Architect Designed" homes. Why? because Australians grew up in their parents homes, knowing that family and friends had their homes designed and built without an Architect. Some people also have the false idea that they will be saving money by using a less qualified person such as a Draftsperson or a Building Designer or by commisioning specialists for the minimum required basic services (i.e. obtaining the construction approval).
Wrong! if you intend to save money at the planning stage, by minimising the design and maximising your savings you are in fact loosing a lot more when building and after that, in long-term building running costs.



So what is the difference between an Architect and a Draftsperson?

First of all, there is a legal difference: To be called an "Architect" in NSW you have to be registered with the Board of Architects in NSW. The title "Draftsperson" can be used by anyone drawing and designing buildings in Australia.

An Architect is a formally qualified, multi-skilled professional who, in order to legally use the title, is required to pass a thorough examination and then be registered with the Board of Architects in the particular State or Territory where the work is undertaken. The NSW Architects Board administers specific consumer protection legislation which is contained in NSW Architects Act. The Architect is therefore a building design professional accredited by the government to meet reasonable standards of competency to provide building design, documentation and contract administration services to the general public.

Being and Architect comes with responsability and a such professional is obliged under the law to have Proffesional Indeminty Insurance covering them and their clients from any claims that may arise for the whole life of the building, due to an Architect's mistake. The Architect is also obliged under the law to continuously develop his professional skills and knowledge.
Becoming an Architect is certainly not easy and it comes only after long and hard years of work after graduating university. Therefore and Architect is expected to have a high level of competency, knowledge and professionalism a Building Designer/Draftsperson may not have.

Many Architects are able to provide other specialist services such as landscape design, interior design, building diagnostics, measured surveys of existing premises, heritage and other reports including building compliance, dilapidation surveys, fire reinstatement, feasibility studies and expert witness.

Being a "Draftsperson" on the other side, is a lot easier as it doesn't require membership in any professional bodies, doesn't require any training/degree, doesn't require continuous professional development or professional insurance; in fact anyone who can draw buildings can call himself a Draftsman. One doesn't need great knowledge or skills to provide drafting services. Unsually drafting skills are aquired under the supervision of an Architect and a Draftsperson draws what the Architect asked or tought him draw.
This is not to say that a Building Designer or a Draftsman would not produce good drawings. No matter the size of the job, both a good Architect and a Draftsperson can produce quality work, however, a Draftsperson is limited by law to doing only small rezidential works, while the Architect can apply his expertize on any size jobs.

So why should you chose an Architect over a Draftsperson or a Building Designer?
Architects work to your budget, just like Draftspeople or Building Designers do. Clients usually have a rough idea on what they want but they can't really visualise it in the finest details and sometimes what they think they want is not really in their advantage.
A new home or house renovation is a large and important investment in one's life and one would want to get it right in the first place...

A Draftsperson, could easily transfer client's ideas onto paper and submit it to the authorities with the purpose of obtaing construction approval.

An Architect, on the other side, takes on board the client's ideas and also chalenges the client with his own ideas, therefore transforming the initial brief into something that the client has probably never imagined. Architects are more likely to challenge their client, strech the envelope, think outside the box and bring an inovative solution to maximize the client's investment and improve their lifestyle.

But thinking outside of the box is not the only attribute the Architect has. Due to his trainng, skills and knowledge, an Architect could also incorporate cost saving measures into the building process which could result in your overall building costs or ongoing running costs being less. 
An Architect is also trained in taking advatage of the natural elements: light, ventilation, heating, cooling which could bring substantial savings to your electricity bill. An Architect is familiar with the council codes, planning instruments and regulations and is applying them to your particular design.The Architect can basically offer you the maximum space and beauty, by balancing the beauty, space, construction methods and costs.

The concept that the Architect is more expensive than a Building Designer/Draftsperson is false, as the Architect would apply his skills and knowledge to optimize your investment and maximize your return. Overall the cost savings the Architect's expertize could bring you are most of the times by far in your advatage than if you were to employ someone with less knowledge or skills.
Amortised as an investment over ten years, the architect's fees will only cost you between $50-$100 per annum for every $10 000 of building cost.
The cost of hiring and Architect is an investment that could reflect not only in a high quality designed home but also in a higher resale value.

"A Man's Home is his Castle" and an important investment in one's life.

So please choose carefully the specialist to design your home and lifestyle!


iDesign Architecture and Interiors Pty Ltd     |     phone: 02 8034-8179;    mobile: 0431 881-828;          address: 152 Mowbray Rd. Willoughby, NSW, 2068;       email: office@idesign.net.au