5 reasons why some builders won’t recommend using an architect

5 reasons why some builders won’t recommend using an architect

Renovations, Tips and Advice, New Homes

why builders won't recommend architectsWhilst some builders suggest their clients engage an architect to create a design for their new homes or renovations, there are plenty that won’t. But why is that so? What are these builders afraid of?

Well there could be any number of reasons, but here are what I consider to be the top 5:

1. They don’t understand the value an architect offers

It’s possible that some builders just don’t understand the value of what an architect can offer to their client’s in terms of quality design. Builders, particularly those that do business in the ‘off the plans’ basic homes market, may see architects as an extravagance that’s only warranted for palatial homes of the rich and famous. It’s possible that they don’t realise the value an architect can bring to smaller projects, particularly where space is at a premium. These builders see a home as a foundation, walls, doors, windows and a roof without any consideration about movement, the relationship between spaces, liveability and a host of other things that are vital to great home design.

2. Bad experiences in the past

It could be that a builder may have had a bad experience with an architect in the past. Not all architects are equal and it’s possible that some builders having had a bad experience previously are not inclined to recommend using an architect again, even though there are clearly better architects out there.

3. Worried about encouraging competition

A third possibility is that the builder is worried that their client will take an architect’s design and use it to obtain competitive quotes from other builders. Unless the client is already locked in with the builder – which is almost never the case – there is the potential that the client will use the designs to shop around for quotes, which obviously can cut into the builder’s margins. Certainly clients of dion seminara architecture are encouraged to get the best quote they can. It’s one of the major reasons why our clients choose us.

4. They don’t want someone checking up on their work

In some, hopefully, rare cases, some builders may be put off by the thought of having an architect effectively supervising the quality of their work. As part of our Building Contract Management Service, we assess the quality of work and things like materials used, time frames, variations etc. to ensure that everything is being done to the highest standards. It must be said that most builders do the right thing and therefore don’t have a problem with this. However there are still those in the industry who like to cut corners and those builders most definitely do not want someone looking over their shoulder and as a result, would never recommend their client’s use an architect.

5. They want an easy build

Finally, it could be that the builders themselves just want to construct a very basic ‘box’ style design, which is quicker and easier for them to throw up. The faster and easier they can build it, the greater the margin they can potentially make. Of course, this doesn’t benefit the client and their lifestyle, but often that’s not at the top of the builder’s list of concerns.

So who do they recommend?

Well, almost always those builders who don’t recommend architects for the design work will instead recommend their client’s use the services of a draft person, commonly one that they either employ or have a referral relationship with.

So now the client’s of these builders are getting their homes designed by someone who doesn’t want to think outside the square and will instead simply draw up whatever the client or builder tell them to draw up. This is great for the builder of course, but it is almost always a disaster for the homeowner themselves.

The solution

Don’t go to a builder first. If you go to the builder you’re virtually locking yourself into working with them and accepting their prices. You will also most likely be committing your renovation or home design to mediocrity at best. At worst, it will be the design from hell, in no way suiting your lifestyle and potentially costing you plenty when you go to sell in years to come.

Your first port of call has to be getting some qualified advice. At dion seminara architecture we pride ourselves on creating the perfect design for your home; one that suits your needs and will also give you a high return on investment. Once we have completed your design we can then help you get the best quote for your project. So not only will you end up with a stunning design within your budget, but you will also get it built at the best possible price.

So if you’re thinking about building a new home or renovating contact us today and let us help you create your ideal dream home.

Dion Seminara Architect


We are experts at home design, renovations and new homes and ensure good value for money outcomes.

Hi, I am Dion Seminara, practicing architect and licensed general builder for 30 years as well as an environmental sustainable design (ESD) expert. I graduated from Queensland University of Technology (QUT) with honours, QLD in 1989. Registered as an architect in 1991 and registered as a builder in 1992, I am also a fellow member of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA). Having received 12 ArCHdes Residential Architecture Awards, LJ Hooker Flood Free Home Design Award and the 2016 AIA Regional Commendation for Public Architecture, my expertise with both residential renovation (to all types of houses, especially Queenslanders, 50s/60s/80s), new contemporary homes and luxury residences has earned me a reputation as one of Brisbane's architectural specialists in lifestyle design architecture, interior design and landscape design.