Invest in the best

Invest in the best

As Abode’s architectural expert Greg Young explains, you can’t afford not to enlist an architect when building your own home; after all, it’s the biggest investment you’ll ever make. 

Many people still mistakenly believe architects are a luxury reserved only for the wealthy. However, in reality, architects’ fees are only a small proportion of the overall budget, and are often no more than builders' margins. As Kevin McLeod of Grand Designs swears, ‘a good architect actually pays for themselves – more than once.’ The building is better. And it delivers much greater value.

Considering your once-in-a-lifetime investment, and who to have on your team? Here is some food for thought. 

Energy Efficiency - In a well-designed home, the rooms and windows are positioned in accordance with the environment, and every part designed with respect to the building as a whole. As world-renowned architect Le Corbusier once said, ‘a house is a machine for living in’: on a practical level, a well-designed house is more economical to run.

Keep It Simple - An architecturally designed home typically has a very simple roof form compared to a housing company home, with fewer materials on the walls. Simplifying form and proportion means extra detailing isn’t required to make a home interesting.
Lighter & Brighter - A house that considers its environment is not only sustainable; it’s more rewarding to live in. Room placement is a critical consideration in order to harness natural light, as is the placement of windows and roof overhangs.

Interiors Defined - With the expertise of an architect, your home isn’t just designed from the outside; all internal spaces are considered too. This encompasses an array of elements that contribute to the overall success of interior spaces, like the play of light, the height of a ceiling, and the way the finishes interact with each other.

Team Effort - A team approach to design, that involves the engineers, landscape designers and builders early on in the design process, makes for a seamless package, as opposed to one that is disjointed and potentially expensive.

Quality Control - Senior architects enjoy being involved in projects from start to finish. This means being on site during the construction phase in order to oversee every last detail. An architect will help organise and analyse tender pricing, write construction contracts, manage payments and control cost variations. 

Legal Matters - When it comes to legal issues, an architect is certainly helpful to have on board if issues of liability or requirements from the council arise – which can present an unnecessary risk to homeowners and become very complicated.

Added Value - An architecturally designed house has much greater value on the market than one that is poorly designed, even if they cost the same amount to build.

Expert advice

• There’s nothing like a good personal recommendation, so talk to your friends or scout out great architecture in your area that inspires you.

• Architecture is driven by people, for people, so arrange an informal chat over a coffee with a few different architects to get a feel for who you gel with and can transform your vision into a reality.

• Let your fingers do the walking and check out architecture websites, like ARCHIPRO and Houzz, for a wealth of inspiration and vital information on products and designers.

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Modern simplicity

Modern simplicity

Modern metamorphosis

Modern metamorphosis