project management

Why You Should Use Architects as Project Managers

Buying a Home, Services, Tips and Advice

Picture this, you’re building a new home without using an architect, and it’s nearly complete. You’re so excited to finally get the keys so you can move in! Then, you get the bad news – the home has structural issues, and the best way to fx these is to demolish it and start over.

The cost of this little exercise? An eye-watering $2.4M!

Whilst this might sound like an unlikely scenario, it’s sadly not just a tall tale. That is exactly what has happened to one unfortunate family from Tasmania.

I can’t begin to imagine what they are going through. Seeing their investment crumbling before their eyes. Whilst this example comes from Tasmania – it can, and does, happen right across Australia.

Why You Should Use Architects as Project Managers

Why Project Management Matters from a New Home Architect

Looking at the design of this particular home it doesn’t appear to have been designed by an architect.

The design itself is poor but the bigger issue here is that faulty work. You might find it hard to believe that nobody picked up on the faults sooner.

To be fair, it sounds like the owners did raise several concerns, but the build continued – major faults and all, almost to the point of completion. Certainly, beyond the point of economical repair.

How does this happen you might ask?

Whilst many people engage architects like ourselves to create the concept design of their home, and maybe the building approval drawings, many then go off and source builders by themselves.

This same type of process also frequently happens with renovations.

The customer then relies on the builder acting ethically and producing high quality work. Whilst there are plenty of times that this happens, sadly there are all too many times where it doesn’t.

Problems in the building phase can occur for a variety of reasons. For starters, builders can be under pressure – in terms of both time and finances.

Builders under pressure can sometimes take shortcuts to save time and money during the project.

For example, a builder, under pressure to complete a project so they can get paid, discovers there is a major delay in getting particular materials. Their solution may be to substitute materials. Substituting one type of material for another is reasonably common in the building industry, but any substituting should be done in consultation with the client. It’s also important that the materials used still need to be fit for purpose.

Sometimes the customer needs to take some responsibility. Customers can sometimes place unrealistic pressures on the builder to get the job completed. Things like material shortages may be a valid reason for delays. This is where good lines of communication are so important – and this is exactly where having a third party comes in handy!

Carina Heights New Luxury Home Design: This Carina Heights new luxury home design is intended to serve both the current and future generations of the family. This is done by being flexible enough to meet their ever-changing needs and to stand the test of time in terms of both functionality and style. This is one of our projects and a result or good planning and good management of the builders.

When saving you money, costs you money

The solution is twofold – first it helps to have someone design and fully document your project (including completed construction details), and then to have them, or another third party, source builder’s quotes and oversee the project.

The obvious choice for managing the project would be the architect, who created the design in the first place.

Oftentimes though we see that clients, having invested money on getting the architect to design their home in the first place, will try to save money by not engaging them for any further services.

Although at first glance this seems like a decent game plan, this way of thinking is a classic case of false economies.

Let’s look at our services as an example …

As architects we create all our designs based on our client’s real needs as assessed by us in a consultative way.

We can then assist with approval applications, and detailed construction documentation.

The detail we put into our documentation is designed to remove any ambiguity. Everything is laid out in black and white, so expectations are clear. This alone can save costly mistakes from occurring.

Sustainable & Passive Designed New Home:  This project located Sherwood is a modern design home. Which is focused on sustainable and passive design principles. This means creating a home, from the ground up, with sustainable design choices. This is one of our projects and a result or good planning and good management of the builders of these projects by us via our contract administration and project management services.

Our Services can Save You Money

The cherry on top of the cake in our service, the area which you will REALLY find savings, is our tender process.

To start with we only put projects out to tender with suitable, reputable builders.

Now you, the client, have several builders all quoting on your project helping to ensure you get the best price.

So, how much can you save? To give you one example, we recently undertook a project tender for a client, and we found that the difference from the lowest tender to the highest was $750,000!

Now, imagine if that client hadn’t engaged us to conduct their tender for them – and happened to engage the more expensive builder!

Sure, they still would have gotten brilliant work done – I have no doubts about the quality of this builder’s work! But due to our strict rules about the builders we let enter our tendering process, the builder with the lowest bid is also a fantastic builder – all of our contractors have been pre assessed to ensure their work, integrity, and knowledge are top tier.

All this is to say – by choosing the cheapest of our tender quotes, the client will get a sensational outcome, and save $750,000 in the process!

Of course, it doesn’t end there.

When you engage us to oversee the builders and contractors who are working on your project – you also get the peace of mind that you will avoid the heartache experienced by the Tasmanian couple I mentioned earlier.

I’m not saying nothing ever goes wrong with the projects we oversee, that’s a claim thats simply impossible to make! What I AM saying is that we pick mistakes up quickly, and we have the contractual processes needed to get any issues rectified as stress free and fast as possible!

This set of processes has the potential to save you hundreds of thousands – or potentially even millions!

Why You Should Use Architects as Project Managers

All it takes is a phone call and you will be on your way to getting the home of your dreams.

If you want a fantastic outcome and a process, that manages your projects risks for you,  and keeps your stress levels in check, then you owe it to yourself to engage architects to do more than simply create the design.

We are a top-quality new home and renovation specialists who, along with our core design service, also offer interior design services and landscape design.

At dion seminara architecture we can provide everything you need all under the one roof. We can save you money and ensure that you get an amazing outcome!

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.