Architects frequently asked questions. Pick our brain. Find out what an architect does, the difference between an architect and a draftsperson, and more.
We are university-qualified professionals who have been registered to work as architects. We are bound by a code of ethics established by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, which requires that we perform all of our duties with professional integrity.
We can help you with building design, documentation, planning, feasibility studies, site selection, building budgeting, interior and landscape design and eco-planning. We also help throughout the project construction stage.
The short answer here is: no. Sadly, we don’t have a special line to approvals in the council department. There is no express lane for submissions with us, or anyone else. Councils have a specific approval process which takes a certain amount of time, and nothing can be done to hurry the process except for ensuring that any submissions are prepared properly first time around. We can make sure this will happen for you.
Traditionally, a draftsperson was the one who drew up the plans for a house design after the architect had completed the design in neat and precise sketch form. This was before computer design existed, and this way of operating meant that an architect could take on more work as more time could be spent on the all-important design stage.
Now, you don’t need to be an architect to design a home. While a draftsperson can technically design a home, they are also qualified with as little as one to two years of TAFE study. Compare this to an architect who has to do a five-year architecture degree at university (full time) before two years of practical experience in a design firm, and then registration exams. So it’s seven years of study at a minimum which are required to become an architect.
We do not deny that there are talented draftspeople out there who can design you a stunning home. Draftspeople are a vital part of our building and construction industry. The problem is when draftspeople are seen to fill a role which they simply are not trained to do.
Your architect has been trained and has a deep understanding of not just design, but construction, engineering, planning, environmental factors, material science, design philosophy, environmental surrounds and so many more factors as well. Your draftsperson is going to take a few weeks to design a home, while we will take as long as it takes to get the perfect design. This may take months, with consultation with you and ongoing perfection along the way.
Architects are specialists when it comes to planning and design of the built and natural environments. While many people do have the misconception that an architect is a luxury for home design, the truth is that an architect can actually save you money in the long run. And while we do cost more than a draftsperson, the end result is that you get what you pay for.
Think about the ready-made homes you see in the suburbs – homes that have been developed with little thought as to the surrounding environment and very little consideration for energy efficiency, climate or any of the other elements that are so vital with homes in Australia.
And then consider an architecturally designed home, where the natural surroundings are incorporated into the home design, and where every part of the home works and serves a purpose. Of course, we believe that an architecturally designed home is worth the money, and if you look at it not as an extra cost, but an essential investment, then you’ll see the value. Homes cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to build – and by investing in an architect to ensure that your home is in line with your exacting specifications and designed to be liveable, you’ll see the value for years to come.
In addition to liveability and appeal of your home, an architecturally designed space retains its value and can even increase at a greater rate compared to a non-architecturally designed home, purely because of the structural integrity and its ongoing appeal.
As we have said above, you get what you pay for. If you build something on the cheap, you’re going to end up paying more in the end. A cheap home that isn’t architecturally designed isn’t going to be still standing 100 years from now (like the treasured old heritage homes with thoughtful and professional design). A badly built home with no regard for space, flow, use and liveability is going to be torn down because after 50 years, the building will likely be so run down and worn that it’ll almost be unliveable.
We say: build quality today. Treasure it. Be good to the environment and invest in an architect for your home.
You can find out more about our design process here.
We are based in Brisbane, but we service the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, as well as regional properties across south-east Queensland. We also service western country Queensland, Tweed Heads to Byron Bay and surrounds, and in the Northern Territory, we service Darwin, Palmerston, Darwin River and other areas too. Contact us to find out if we can help you with your design.