Whether you have decided to build, extend or renovate your house or build an investment property- you are making an important decision which will influence your daily life for many years. Such an important investment needs the help of a specialist to avoid mistakes at the design stage and to ensure that your needs are properly realized.
Our Architect’s role
We have the most appropriate training and experience to design, co-ordinate and manage your building project. We will advise on the design of client’s house or building so that it is laid out economically and efficiently and will add to the value of property and to the lifestyle.
Our work begins with an analysis of your requirements. Our architect will relate the client’s needs and quality, aspirations to the budget for the project. The ultimate success of the project depends on the quality of client’s brief – their description to us of what they need from the building. This information will enable us to develop a design solution related to the client’s needs. For help with a brief see the ‘20 questions’ page in Client Info of this website.
Your plans for the future
Our architect will present proposals in the form of sketch designs. Drawings can be difficult to understand and it is important that you work with us to understand the proposal. If you have any doubts, discuss these with us so that both of can understand exactly what is proposed. Once your project goes on site changes can be very expensive. We can build scale models or 3D models to help you understand the design.
As the client you are part of the team and you need to maintain effective communication with us throughout the project so that we can act in your best interest at all times.
Benefits of using a BAA architect
For most people, building a property is the most important investment they will make – our architects will work with you to enhance the value of your property and achieve a cost effective solution.
By investing in the services of BAA you will have a product specifically designed for your needs; you explore with our architect the various options for the design of your project and through good design our architect can maximise your investment.
BAA can also work with you on improving the long-term usability and efficiency of your house by examining the implications of the two following issues which are becoming increasingly important, barrier-free and sustainable design.
Barrier-free design aims to remove or minimize the factors that might make it difficult for you or your tenants to enjoy your property if disabled or as you grow older. BAA designs to the International Design Codes for Universal access. It is smart to incorporate these into your property from the beginning to insure life long usability. It does not cost extra it is just a matter of designing steps and spaces properly.
Sustainable development is defined as that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. It raises complex issues for society but your architect can advise you on basic techniques such as use of materials and increased insulation. BAA’s extensive knowledge of available materials can allow for sustainable design at no extra cost to our clients.
The building process
Having translated your brief into a final agreed design and having obtained the necessary Building Authority Approval our architect will then produce documentation for pricing by contractors. The architect will also select a list of contractors and will help you to evaluate the tenders received.
The builder should be selected not only on the basis of the tender price, but also on quality. A good builder represents real value in reliability and quality of work and may ultimately cost less than one with lesser ability who has tendered a lower price. Builders selected for tendering should have a good track record for your type of project. For this reason BAA often prefer to work with builders known to them.
BAA will advise you on the appropriate form of building contract and will act as your independent advisor during the contract, liaising on your behalf with the builder and ensuring compliance with the contract documentation, drawings and building standards.
Our architects will advice you on stage payments during the project.
Building even the smallest extension is a complex process and requires good management and co-ordination by the contractor. Even with the best contractors problems can occur and it is important that you maintain good communication with our architect so that such problems can be dealt with effectively. During building it is important that you do not give direct instructions to the contractors, because what may seem to you to be a simple matter, can be expensive for you in the long term.
You should also make sure that any variations to the contract which you request are agreed in advance. The cost of a number of small variations can add up to an alarming total. If you think you do need to make changes, discuss these carefully with our architect to establish whether they are necessary and make sure that the costs are agreed. Good communication between you, our architect and the contractor can avoid unpleasant surprises and will make the contract run more smoothly.
Building is a complex process and problems can occur – your architect is there to help resolve these problems.
Our architects work does not end when the building work is finished – part of the contract sum is retained for to twelve months and only pay on our architect’s instructions, after the contractor at the end of this period, when defects have been rectified.
How much will an Architect’s services cost
Architects fees are charged on a percentage of the final project cost or on an hourly rate, and depend on the extent and complexity of the work and the services required. Your architect will discuss and agree the services and fee appropriate to your project.
BAA can advise on the best possible solution to add to the value of your property, whether it is to extend, refurbish, or demolish and build a new building.