Creating a building can be a complex process that an architect is trained and experienced to guide you through. There are many compelling reasons to use an architect; the following are but a few:
It's a simple question, but the answer is that charges will vary considerably depending upon the nature of the project and what services are required.
To assess fees accurately it is necessary to have full knowledge of all circumstances - site information, detailed understanding of client requirements and expectations (design brief), project budget and time frame.
For that reason, initial stages of a project are often best handled on a time charge basis as this will allow flexibility for both parties while the project scope and schematic design is being established.
Percentage or lump sum fees can be established once the project scope and schematic design has been agreed.
M2architecture usually undertakes residential work on a time charge basis as this will allow ultimate flexibility to clients who wish to contribute to the design / documentation / contract administration processes. We have found that our clients often wish to become involved with colour and material selections and occasionally kitchen joinery design - these are involved and time consuming activities. A time based fee arrangement allows this to happen without the need for fee adjustments on the way through.
Commercial projects are usually undertaken on a percentage or lump sum fee basis.
As a client of M2architecture, you will receive a detailed fee proposal letter that will establish the terms of our engagement and set out what fees will be applicable for your project once we have a detailed understanding of your requirements.
It is a widely held belief that Architects simply draw up plans, but the truth is that although drawing plans is an important part of what we do, it is only a part.
The following summary of an architect's services is not intended to be exhaustive but is intended as a brief guide, and for convenience is separated into sequential stages:
Gathering information on user requirements, obtaining comprehensive site information, measuring up existing structures, obtaining copies of titles and as built information. Soil testing and site classification (when required) are undertaken by separate consultants. Additional services may include: Pre-purchase inspections for land or buildings - we can prepare condition reports on existing buildings, and assist by obtaining and providing information on zoning, service utilities and environmental factors such as solar access and orientation.
We prepare initial concept designs exploring ideas and options that might be applicable to help find the best design approach to your project. The concept design then develops into the schematic design The schematic design is a response to the briefed information. Drawings may be free hand drawn to scale and will generally comprise plans and elevation / section information sufficient to convey an understanding of the concept for client approval and for briefing of other consultants.
This is an expansion of the schematic design and is the completion of design process, It involves consideration of construction detailing, particular joinery requirements, and selection of colours and materials. It is also an important stage that integrates advice from other consultants into the design in preparation for the next stage. Projects will often need to advance partly into this stage in order to have sufficiently well developed information to support applications for Planning Permits.
Completion of detailed drawings and specification notes sufficient for calling tenders and lodgement for building and plumbing permits
Reporting on tenders, assistance with letting the contract. Liaison with builder and administration of the contract between you and the builder. Regular site visits and meetings with builder; assessment and certification of progress claims; issuing of architectural instructions; assessment, negotiation and certification of contract variations. Detailed inspections and report upon Practical Completion and upon Final Completion.
Building contracts in common use have provisions for a Defects Liability Period following completion of construction. We continue to administer the contract during this period and perform inspections and reports as required by the contract.
An architect may be engaged to perform all or some of the roles described. We will be happy to discuss our role in more detail upon request.
Your project will receive the same level of attention regardless of its size or complexity. Our quality assurance system has been set up to ensure that our practice will serve our clients in the most reliable and well managed way.
All procedures are followed on a daily basis for all projects, and where the project value exceeds $2M, documentation will be maintained in accordance with a Design Plan prepared for that project.
We acknowledge our responsibility to ensure that work we undertake meets the expectations of the broader community. Our projects will be responsive to their context, general community values, and in areas such as health and safety and environmental impact we will seek to promote the most appropriate solutions.