Tips for pick­ing the right build­ing team

Central Otago Mirror - - NEWS -

Look­ing at turn­ing your dreams into a re­al­ity – make sure you get the right team on board. An ar­chi­tect is the only pro­fes­sional within the build­ing in­dus­try who is specif­i­cally trained in the art and science of designing and build­ing struc­tures. They will ap­ply a more prac­ti­cal ap­proach to your pro­ject, are keenly fo­cused on cost and are able to in­ter­pret your needs. They are also pro­fi­cient at re­lay­ing all your pro­ject re­quire­ments to the coun­cil, builders and sub-con­trac­tors. An ar­chi­tect will charge you any­thing from 5 to 20 per­cent of the to­tal cost of the pro­ject de­pend­ing on your re­quire­ments and those of the lo­cal coun­cil. As they have a keen in­ter­est in see­ing their de­signs through to com­ple­tion, many ar­chi­tects pre­fer to carry out a sub­stan­tial role in the man­age­ment of the pro­ject. Your choice of de­signer will prob­a­bly boil down to how much money you’re will­ing to out­lay. Be aware that it can be a mis­take to scrimp at this par­tic­u­lar stage as choos­ing an in­ex­pe­ri­enced per­son may cost you in the long run. You also need to be con­fi­dent the per­son you choose un­der­stands the Build­ing Code re­quire­ments and the need for good qual­ity ma­te­ri­als and con­struc­tion meth­ods. There­fore en­sur­ing costly prob­lems, such as leaky build­ings are avoided. Do some re­search, ask around and make a short list. Try to find out what each one is like to work with as it is very im­por­tant to find a per­son you can com­mu­ni­cate your ideas to and feel that they are lis­ten­ing. Most ar­chi­tects of­fer a free first meet­ing so en­sure you meet with each per­son on your short list. At these ini­tial meet­ings a lot of in­for­ma­tion will be gath­ered to es­tab­lish what is needed and how it might be achieved. Prior to each meet­ing it is nec­es­sary to es­tab­lish the size of your bud­get, the type and size of house you want and de­sign fea­tures you want in­cluded. In­quire about qual­i­fi­ca­tions, pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity in­surance, ex­am­ples of pre­vi­ous work, range of ser­vices they pro­vide and ref­er­ences from other clients. At the end of the meet­ing ask the ar­chi­tect to write down their un­der­stand­ing of what you want so you can con­firm these ideas or make al­ter­ations. Note that some ar­chi­tects will most likely use the ser­vices of a num­ber of other peo­ple, such as sur­vey­ors and struc­tural en­gi­neers, who they en­gage on your be­half. This too should be sorted at the ini­tial meet­ing. Re­mem­ber the per­son you even­tu­ally em­ploy must have pro­fes­sional in­dem­nity (PI) in­surance to en­sure they take to­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity for any ad­vice they give. PI in­surance is for the im­me­di­ate ben­e­fit of the ar­chi­tect, not the client, but it is in your in­ter­ests that the per­son you em­ploy has it. If they don’t have PI in­surance and some­thing goes wrong, and they can’t pay for the re­pairs, you are likely to be out of pocket your­self. PI in­surance is not com­pul­sory, how­ever it makes good sense to em­ploy an ar­chi­tect who has it. In any build­ing pro­ject, the level of com­pe­tence of the peo­ple designing and fore­see­ing the pro­ject is crit­i­cal. A qual­i­fied ar­chi­tect can add de­sign flair to your ideas, max­imise the po­ten­tial of sun and views on your prop­erty and the prop­erty is of­ten able to at­tract a higher re-sale price than oth­ers of the same size and age.

Ad­di­tional in­for­ma­tion sourced from www.con­sumer­build.org.nz

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