Architects; What Do They Do
In Real Estate Development?
"If You Want To Develop Real Estate Profitably
You Can't Do It Without Architects"
Architects; What Do They Do
From the desk of Colm Dillon ...
Author of "Residential Development Made Easy"
Hello Colm Dillon here ...
I've developed projects worth over $1.2 Billion and every one of them has an architect as its design team leader.
If you are new to the real estate development business, you had better get to know ad understand what design leader does for you.
Knowing what they do for you ... what you are paying for is vital.
If any of us were asked what they do, most of us would reply, "designs buildings," and you'd be correct.
But if you were then asked, what else do they do, most likly you be struggling to give an answer.
An overview description would be:
Architects are trained to interpret and develop your ideas of the building you want to create and transform them into reality.
Whether you are developing a residential building for your own use, may I make a plea, that you don't compare the 'unique' services they provide for you, with that of a Draftsman.
The difference is like comparing chalk to cheese.
In some countries, draftsmen have set themselves up in business to provide residential designs at a cut price set fee.
Without a shadow of doubt the draughtsman's fee will be lower than a designer's fee.
But so is what YOU GET for the fee.
They provides you with a "unique" design solution to your personal needs. A draftsman draws the work that others have designed.
And that is just the beginning of the difference between these two.
With a draftsman you get a set of plans and maybe a specification - that's it. Now let's find out what a professional does for you.
A building project can be a complex process for the beginner and demands a constant monitoring of cost, time and quality.
To achieve this, they usually the co-ordinator of all the design consultants and achieves a successful project completion through good communication between all parties including the client and the builder.
They provides a range of services on the basis of a Fee Scale that is usually established by their Institute of the country in which they work.
They are involved from the very inception of a building:
. Selecting a site
. Designing and planning
. Undertaking feasibility studies
. Managing the building budget
. Selecting and managing the project team
. Designing the interior
. Landscaping the surrounds
. Maintaining the building
They can save you money because:
. They have an in-depth knowledge of the building process and most economical, efficient way to achieve what you want.
. They can plan and manage a project from start to finish helping to avoid costly mistakes.
. They have the experience to deliver your project on budget and on time.
They are experienced in coordinating project teams including builders, tradespeople, landscapers engineers, quantity surveyors and interior designers.
They will listen carefully to what you want and interpret your requirements from lay-mans terms into a design expressed in technical terms through drawings and specfications.
Their designs will consider important things such as site conditions, the sun and views so you get the best design for your budget.
They will also prepare technical drawings and specifications for building approvals and for construction of your project.
How do you select one:
. Make sure they are a member of their Institute in your country.
. Meet and discuss your project. Ensure there is mutual compatibility between you for ease of communication and appreciation of varying viewpoints
. Discuss the range of services you require and if you don't understand the service, ask for an explanation.
. Ask about the likely fees you will have to pay. At this stage you will not get a firm fee as the project parametres have not been determined.
. Make sure you feel comfortable and get the responses you want.
. Ask to look at examples of projects they have done and talk to former clients.
To get in touch with an architect in your area of operation, contact their Institute in your country, who can then direct you to the Local Chapter of the Institute.
Here are the links to some of the major Institutes:
This site has an excellent downloadable PDF Guide that provides an excellent overview
If your country's Institute is not listed below just go to :
and type in the Search Box; "<your country>Institute of Architects."
Author of "Residential Real Estate Development Made Easy"
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