You’ve always had that dream home in mind, but recently it has become more defined, more concrete. Now it’s time to make that dream real, and you want to be sure you do it the right way, from conception to completion. But what’s really involved?
There are many house designers in Sydney, so how do you go about finding the right one, and how will you know when you have? The more you know, the better chance you’ll have of contracting the best designer for your dream home.
You’ll want to work only with professionals, so forget the cousin who likes to draw and will do it for free. In Australia, house designers fit into one of two categories: architects or building designers. The industry is regulated and state licensed, and the legislation that governs it varies by state. The Architects Accreditation Council of Australia is the registering body for architects. In order to be registered, a person must hold a recognized degree in architecture or have experiential equivalence. There is also a period of training in real jobs and a practice examination. To continue to hold a license, the architect must also undertake continuing education in the field and hold appropriate indemnification insurance.
Building designers are also regulated and registered, and what is required varies state to state as well. However, registered or accredited building designers in all states must carry professional indemnity and undertake continuing professional development, too. There is significant variation in the range of services offered by building designers; many hold architecture or other special design degrees and others are qualified drafting professionals.
It’s important that the professional you hire to build your home has demonstrated ability to build the type of home described in your brief and in your climate zone. Get referrals and if possible, see some of the homes the builder has designed.
Some of the things you want to ask about in your search for a house design in Sydney are these:
- What kind of drafting and architectural drawing do you do? For what kind of buildings?
- What kind of development applications do you provide? Do they cover an itemized schedule of specific Council requirements?
- Do you collaborate with local councils?
- How do you obtain the construction certificate?
- Can you recommend external consultancies (builders, engineers, etc.)?
House designers usually gather a team of specialist consultants such as sustainability consultant, geotechnical engineer, structural engineer, etc. Be sure to obtain references for any consultants to be sure they will deliver the quality product you desire.
Designing your dream home is an exciting process. You may want to delegate all the decisions to the designer or you may want to be totally involved throughout the whole process. Whichever way you decide, discuss your involvement with the house designer before hiring one. Choose a designer who will work with you the way you want to work to avoid common disagreement.
It is critical that you have a good working relationship with your designer. Too much involvement may limit the designer’s ability to deliver the best solutions, but not enough involvement may leave you with a home you don’t really like. Check each stage of the work against your brief before moving on to the next stage and be sure that you are comfortable with it. It is, after all, your dream home.