Why builders recommend drafts people
The couple then started talking about how disappointed they are with the design of their home, which was already half built. When I asked who designed it they explained that they had chosen a builder and then used the draftsperson that the builder recommended.
‘Why did you ask your builder?’ I questioned.
‘We didn’t really ask him,” they replied. “He just recommended his draftsperson out of the blue.”
“We thought the draftsperson would do a good job, and we didn’t think that our project warranted the talents of an architect,” they added.
This story is unfortunately not uncommon. It’s also unfortunate that so many people fall into this trap.
Why builders recommend draftspeople
The main reason why a builder will recommend a draftsperson is that they know the draftsperson will listen to their directions. Some builders are less interested in your lifestyle needs – things like liveability, sustainability or even the long-term value of your property – they simply want to build you a house in the most cost-effective way that they can. They want a simple design that is quick and easy for them to build.
Builders often see themselves on the same level as an architect, believing that there is nothing that an architect does that they can’t manage themselves. But the reality is the two skills are very different, and I would know because I am a registered builder myself. Not that I build houses, I am a full-time architect, but I know a lot about how builders operate.
In effect, the builder can almost be seen to have a conflict of interest. They want to build your home as quickly as possible so they can move onto the next project. A simple ‘box’ design is easy, and therefore quick, to build. But chances are a basic ‘box’ design is not going to suit your needs. However, it is not in the builders best interests to suggest anything other than a fairly standard design because anything ‘non-standard’ takes longer to build, yet they won’t necessarily be able to charge proportionately more for the design.
Sore feet and dirty socks
Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing home, there is an order in which you need to do things to ensure the best results.
Think of it this way, you wouldn’t put your shoes on before your socks. Whilst you could walk this way you would ultimately end up with sore feet and dirty socks. Realising this, people put their socks on first and then their shoes. That’s because ‘socks then shoes’ is the correct order in which footwear should be worn.
Similarly, there is a Correct Order in which you should undertake any building project and the very first step is to have your new home or renovation professionally designed. By using someone who has no vested interest in the building of your home, you increase your chances of getting a home design that suits your lifestyle needs. Obviously using a highly experience architect like myself greatly improves the chances of your design meeting your lifestyle needs.
Once the design has been completed THEN it’s time to find a suitable builder. By having detailed plans already created, you are now in a position to get quotes from a number of builders. Each builder will be quoting on the same design, the same materials and the same specifications. You don’t need to compromise at all on liveability, as each builder must quote on the design that you want to be built, not one they might prefer to build.
If you first source a builder and then have a design created you are making life harder for yourself. You are giving yourself little to no chance of a worthwhile outcome if you then go with the building designer or draftsperson that your chosen builder recommends.
Trust me, don’t talk you ANY builders until the design of your home or renovation has been completed. If you already have a builder lined up to do the work, or you have a builder that you desperately want to use, then at the very least do not agree to have your home designed by someone that they recommend. Even if the builder is a family friend you are always better off having your home professionally designed by an architect.
For a home design that suits your lifestyle, contact Dion Seminara at dion seminara architecture today.