Have you been dreaming of the perfect home? One you’ve designed yourself, catering perfectly to your individual style and family’s needs? Amazing! You have all the big ideas, so time to engage with an architect or draftsperson first, right? We’ll – you’re half right! – and we’ll tell you why…
No matter the type of home or design, at the end of the day, if you want your designs to become a reality, they will need to be within your budget to build. So unless you’re a building industry expert yourself, you won’t know how much the plans you’re designing will really cost, and neither will your designer, because that isn’t either of your jobs! An architect’s job is to give you a great design, not necessarily one that you can afford.
So why would you only engage with an architect or designer when you will need help with both design and budget?
You might be surprised to learn that working solely with an architect can leave you with an unrealistic budget expectation when tendering out to builders for a quote
You’ll find yourself constantly delaying the progress of your project, feeling disappointed and confused.
So how can you get the plans you want from your architect, for a budget you can actually afford?
Build Your Design Team
Working with a professional builder during the design process means that there is someone helping you manage and cost control the design so that you can actually afford to do it! And factoring in a Preliminary Building Agreement ensures that no time or money is wasted. Because at the end of the day, the professional builder’s goal is to ensure you get to build your dream home, so they need to make sure that the design you end up with, is one you can afford.
We’ve witnessed first hand, specialising in custom home renovations and extensions, countless homeowners who have finished their dream home plans without any input or guidance from a professional builder, only to find the plans far exceed their budget expectations. This can be crushing for motivation, with so much time and money invested into plans that will never be built.
This critical mistake stems from homeowners believing that a builder doesn’t need to come into the picture until they are ready to start construction, but this simply isn’t true. The builder is the missing key during design that can turn your plans into a reality. A professional builder is an expert in understanding how things get built and the cost implications of certain home designs, and can provide critical information and insight. This allows the builder to update and manage your expectations throughout the design process and marry your plans to your budget.
Collaboration Is Key
Collaborating with a professional builder throughout your design process means that when you get to the end of the design process, you won’t be in for a rude shock. Without this collaboration, you’re likely to reach the point where it’s too late to make any changes because your plans are finished with the council’s stamped approval.
Most people think that an architect or draftsperson is the best point of contact to begin the process with, and while they are a necessity to help turn your dream home into a reality, the most effective way to make sure your time and money is best invested is to find the right builder first to help oversee your project and manage your building costs.
Streamline the Process
Building the right team first helps streamline the process of your entire project. If a builder can collaborate effectively with you and your architect/designer, there is no need for them to rush their quoting process because they are able to set your expectations from the very beginning. One of the biggest issues we see people run into is the price discrepancies when they tender out their project to a bunch of builders. What they don’t realise happens is that they spend 6 months solely with an architect/designer working on their plans, then they give multiple builders 1 week to put together a quote and expect the prices to be the same. Sounds crazy right?
With so much pressure to ‘win the job’ in such a short amount of time, most builders will simply plug in the information provided into their standard inclusions and specifications list without making a site visit or even a phone call. And because builders all have their own Provisional Sums/PC Items and processes, you could receive 3 or 4 quotes that vary by over $100k! So the consumer gets confused, often goes with the cheapest quote only to get hit with variations and have an awful building experience.
If you choose your builder at the same time as your architect, they are able to provide essential knowledge throughout the design process that can help reduce your costs and increase the likelihood of your project actually being built. It could be as simple as suggesting a particular cladding change to avoid using more structural steel which can save you thousands!
Knowing how important it is to build your design team first might throw a spanner in the works because now you need to think ahead and look at your project as a whole but we have plenty of information available that can help you find the right builder, budget for your project and ask the right questions. But before you dive deep into searching for your perfect builder, download our free ZJ Building Design Guide and let us help set your expectations before you’ve even begun planning your dream home. It could just be the start of our wonderful journey together…