Architectural homes are stunning and well worth the extra effort however they are also technical and at times can be complicated. To ensure you make the experience of building your architectural home as stress free as possible, we asked our clients who have been through the process what their top tips would be for someone about to engage in an architectural build.

You have decided to take the leap and work with an architect to get yourself the perfect architecturally designed home for you and your family. There are so many advantages to working with an architect to plan your build, including being able to tailor your home to the way you and your family live while getting a finely tuned product with attractive and outstanding features. Combine your desires with the architectural vision of a talented architect and your investment becomes well worth it.

We have built up years of experience working with architects and clients on their architectural homes and have spoken to them about how to make the experience as enjoyable and stress free as possible.

Here are their top 5 tips FREE for you to use moving forward:

Tip One: Architecturally designed homes have a lot more thought, planning and detail to them and generally as a result will cost you more to have drawn up and may take longer. Don’t rush the process- give yourself plenty of time and utilise your builder as early on as possible to get them to help with practical solutions- it’s imperative your builder and architect can maintain a communicative relationship throughout the build so getting them working together as early as possible is advantageous for them both.
Go into your meeting with your architects with your ideas on paper so you don’t forget- sorting your ideas into ‘must haves’ and ‘can go withouts’ is a good way to start prioritising your needs – this will help further down the track when budget becomes something that you need to consider in your decision making too.

Tip Two: There are so many talented and impressive architects around so the best way to select the one you want to work with is to find one with a portfolio of homes that appeal to you and also to check how their pricing fits with your budget. If you have a builder in mind you’d like to work with then ask who they recommend as an architect to work with at the design stage- someone who they have found to complete plans effectively making the rest of the process easy, and someone who they have found to communicate well during the process. Of course you should apply the same idea if you are working with an architect- ask for who they would recommend to build the home for you, as they will recommend builders based on the quality they have witnessed but also on the ease of working with them and their reliability.

Tip Three: Utilise the service the architect offers you and make all of your specification selections at the design stage of your home with the architect.

This is a huge advantage for two reasons:

1) Pricing – if you have the detail of all of your specifications decided before the architect has completed the job, he can include them in your drawing, and your builder can price on them accordingly. You can also ensure this way if your plans are going out to tender that all the builders are pricing on the same products- ‘apples for apples’ so the quote is correctly indictive of the price to move forward with that builder. This will save you time and stress in the long run also so that you can avoid any variations to your contract that might cost you money.

2) Ease of experience. If the plans include all of the specifications of your home, then right from the outset you, your architect and your builder and your site foreman are ALL on the same page- a massive advantage in taking the pressure off during the build process. It means the communication will be more efficient and effective and you are less likely to run into challenges along the way. All of our clients we spoke to agreed that this was something that they would prioritise if they were to build again.

Tip Four: Appreciate the value in a tender process. Your architects opinion on who will present the best quote to you is incredibly valuable- they will help you to ensure the quote truly reflects your plans too – meaning you avoid hiring a cowboy builder with lots of promises, but who ends up costing you more down the line. A tender process also ensures that you are setting up to work with an architect and a builder who already have a good working relationship, again making the process even more straight forward and stress free for you.

Tip Five: Look at your plans first and then start to make the interior design and styling decisions based on the way your home is set out. A big mistake is to use Pinterest and build an idea up in your head that your house will look like that – it’s like taking a picture of your favourite actress/actor to the hairdressers and asking them to do your hair like that and expecting to come out looking an exact replica of that actress/actor. For example, the length and heights of walls will make a considerable difference to the overall look of your tiles in your bathroom as will placement of vanity in comparison to showers or toilet etc. Your architect might do some interior 3d models for you based on your selections if that is the level of engagement you have agreed on, otherwise ask us about our service we can offer you to put a basic interior 3d model together at a small fee for you to help you visualise your decisions using your plans.

If you are looking to start an architectural build soon, or perhaps you are already underway, we recommend taking these 5 tips on board to help make the experience more enjoyable and relaxed for you so that all you have to do is look forward to moving in to your gorgeous new architecturally designed home.

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Are you looking to build in Queenstown but are not always here?

Many of our clients are looking to build a dream home, getaway or investment and are not local.

We have pulled together the 5 biggest questions we get asked by our clients to help put your mind at ease.

Whether you work with us or someone else these are the answers to the questions you will have been asking yourself.