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Architects

Everyone aspires to build a dream home, but the design and construction of a house is a considerable investment. Therefore, one cannot afford to adopt a trial and error method as each flaw in construction will mean an additional expense towards rectifying the error. That's why one should hire architects to help with the process of planning and building a house. 

What is the role of an architect in the design and construction of a house?

  • While a homeowner may have an idea of the features he wants to include in his house, it's not easy to bring those ideas to life. The architect helps in converting the ideas into working elements. After meeting the homeowner to find out his requirements and budget, architects will go back to the drawing board and create rough sketches to give the homeowner an idea of what the house will look like after completion. Once the homeowner approves the design, the architect will get the plans approved by the local council. 
  • Besides the exterior design, the architect also creates the layout of the interiors, making sure to consider significant elements such as natural light, ventilation, the orientation of the house and the functionality one needs from each area or room.
  • The architectural design of the house is just one part of the process. When the construction starts, it's ideal to have a professional supervising the development to ensure that everything is going according to plan. The architect takes on the role of a project leader who oversees the work of the contractor and the subcontractors.
  • Before construction commences, the materials need to be chosen. Most homeowners only consider aesthetics and are unaware of the pros and cons of each element. Therefore, deciding between natural stone or wood for the floor can be confusing. Architects advise their clients on the material best suited for their house based on their requirements and lifestyle, simplifying the decision-making process.
  • After the house construction is complete, as per regulations, homeowners need a completion certificate from the local council; the architect will also help with this task.

What are the benefits of hiring architects for your project?

It's possible to build a house without consulting an architect, and some homeowners prefer it that way to stay within budget. However, the pros of hiring an architect far outweigh the cons.

  • Compliance to building codes: One of the main concerns of homeowners who decide to build on their own is whether the project will adhere to the guidelines laid down in the building code. In case there are any discrepancies, more money needs to be spent to breakdown and rebuild parts of the house until it passes inspection and receives the completion certificate. By working with an architect, the homeowner needn't worry about compliances as it will be a part of the design process.
  • Efficient design: Since architects follow a scientific approach to creating a house, the layout and design will be far better than what a homeowner can imagine. Moreover, the chances of design flaws will be negligible.
  • Innovative solutions: Often the layout or placement of elements within the available area can pose a challenge to a homeowner. The architect will work with a trained eye to provide creative solutions that make the home comfortable.
  • Control of the budget: Since the architect supervises the construction at every stage, he will also check the contractor's bills and invoices to ensure everything is in order. When a homeowner works directly with the contractor, there is a high possibility of the project exceeding the budget as it's difficult for the homeowner to ascertain the quantities of materials and the actual labour hours spent on the project.

By taking over the task of supervising and undertaking all aspects of the home construction, architects make the experience of building a house stress-free for the homeowner.

What to look for before hiring an architect?

Some renovations and builds don't go according to plan even when the homeowner hires an architect. Usually, it happens when there is a communication gap, or specific aspects of the job roles and responsibilities aren't clearly understood. Therefore, for the project to progress smoothly, we recommend getting clarity on some significant aspects before hiring architects.

Roles and responsibilities: Ask about the scope of the work that he will undertake to get a better idea of what he will do. Based on this, the homeowner can figure out his responsibilities. For instance, what will be the extent of the homeowner's involvement in selecting materials for the floors, cabinets and furniture? By being aware of expectations, it's easier for the homeowner to schedule his time so that the project isn't delayed on his account.

Schedule and strategy: One of the best ways to ensure that the project finishes on time is to ask the architect about the timeline of activities as well as his plan for handling delays if they arise. Often, a chosen tile may not be in stock, due to which the tiling of the bathrooms comes to a standstill. An experienced architect will have a strategy to prevent inordinate delays by sourcing the material from another location or even getting the homeowner to choose an alternative tile or material to ensure the work continues.

Troubleshooting skills: During the construction, several things can go wrong such as a conflict with the contractor or an accident that injures a labourer. It's advisable to ask the architect of the common problems that one might encounter and enquire how he handles such situations.

Ease of communication: It's pointless to hire a well-known architect if he doesn't have the time to meet you regularly to update you on progress or to answer questions. During the initial meetings, one should assess whether the architect is easily accessible. It's best to set up a schedule for weekly or fortnightly updates to keep track of progress.

Work samples: An architect has educational qualifications, certifications and licences, which permit him to practise the profession. However, the level of skill from one individual to another can vary considerably. Before hiring architects, one should always ask about his completed projects. If possible, site visits should be made to verify that the quality of finishes and the design style will be as per expectations. An experienced professional will be more than willing to share these details with you.

What is the cost of hiring architects in India?

In general, the cost of architectural services is a percentage of the total project cost. It can range from 7.5% to 20% depending on the reputation or the experience of the architect. For a project with a cost estimate of Rs.30,00,000, it can vary between Rs.2,50,000 and Rs.6,00,000.

Some architects charge on a cost per square feet basis, ranging from Rs.30 to Rs.500 per square feet. Before hiring an architect, it's advisable to ask about his fees so that one can budget for it.

How to find the best architects for your project?

Besides word of mouth referrals, online listings are an excellent source for identifying architects. We have a list of verified professionals on our architect's directory on homify. Once you browse through the images of completed projects and identify a professional, submit the online form to get free quotes from architects.

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