DO I NEED AN ARCHITECT FOR HOME RENOVATIONS?
Home ownership and home renovations have been an intrinsic part of the Australian psyche for generations.
Today, home renovations are more popular than ever. It’s easy to see why; renovations can transform a home to function specifically to your needs while also adding significant value.
The benefit of having an architect involved in your renovation is simple. An architect has the design experience and a creative eye to make the most out of your home. We come up with clever and artistic ideas to achieve your requirements and improve functionality of your home.
A lot of older houses don’t take advantage of the site or have an ideal floor plan. There might be bathrooms facing the view, pokey kitchens or so many walls your house feels like a maze. Having an experienced architect involved in your renovation will present you with ideas and options you may not have thought of or even thought possible.
The following options could be a possibility for your renovation project:
- Changing floor plan layout to better suit your needs
- Extending a home to add floor space
- Making your home more functional
- Accessing or increasing views
- Bringing in natural light
- Improving indoor/outdoor flow
- Creating natural heating and cooling
A site visit and measure up will give us the information we need to determine the parameters for your renovation. This information along with your brief and budget requirements will give us everything we need to come up with a concept design.
It can be challenging for most people to see beyond the restrictive space they have been living with. But more than 40 years’ experience, an artistic eye for detail, and a passion for creating exciting living spaces ensure that our renovation design will transform your house into your dream home.
EXPANDING THE FOOTPRINT OF YOUR HOME
Changing family circumstances and the need to expand the size of your home are some of the most common reasons for a home renovation. Whether your 3-bedroom house can no longer accommodate your growing family, you’re looking after an elderly family member or you need an extra room for guest accommodation or a home office, expanding the footprint of your home offers some incredible possibilities.
We can create open flow, multipurpose rooms as well as cleverly designed small spaces such as study nooks or wine cellars, while adding glass and skylights can bring in natural light and ventilation.
In suburban areas your floor space is limited by the size of your block. We will measure your site and your house to determine how much extra space you have available to extend the footprint of your home.
Typically the only option is to extend into the backyard or add another level. In some cases the living areas may face the road, so in this case we could redesign the interior and extend out the back to create an amazing open-plan living area and floor-to-ceiling glass sliding doors to flow into the backyard.
We can incorporate your backyard as part of your major renovation too. With expansive decks, feature stone walls, water features, outdoor kitchens, and swimming pools.
Here are just some of the ways we can add space to your home and transform your daily living experience:
- Enhancing indoor/outdoor flow with the use of glass sliding doors
- Opening spaces to create flow and access natural light
- Closing off spaces to create clever uses such as study nooks
- Defining space with the use of natural materials such as stone and timber
HERITAGE HOUSE RENOVATIONS
Heritage house renovations offer some particularly exciting challenges such as balancing the retention of vital traditional features alongside making your home future-smart and functional. Walking the tightrope of council restrictions can be especially fraught. Heritage house renovations sometimes hide other traps for the unwary such as major foundation and drainage work requirements.
When renovating a heritage house you are restricted by what you can and can’t do. For example, you may be required to use the same materials from the original dwelling, such as plaster on the walls.
You may only be limited by the alterations made to the original part of your heritage house, meaning an extension could provide a lot more design flexibility. By adding an ultra-modern extension to your heritage home you can create a unique and artistic juxtaposition. Alternatively, we could design an addition that follows the original style of your heritage home by mimicking features such as roof pitch or exposed timber beams.
If you are renovating a house in a heritage area there are specific rules you must abide by to ensure the style of the house fits in with the surrounding properties, preserving the heritage of the area.
If you are familiar with our work, you will know that beachfront renovations and beachfront designs are our forte. Our passion and creativity for beachfront renovation designs is driven by capturing the natural beauty of the coastal landscape while combating the challenges presented in a marine environment, such as erosion, salt air and sand.
Beachfront renovations are all about opening your home up to those expansive horizons and bringing that heady mix of fresh sea air and natural light into your living space. Imagine floor-to-ceiling glass doors opening out to an outdoor living area fully equipped with an outdoor kitchen and a wet edge swimming pool, all overlooking the ocean.
With a beachfront renovation comes an array of design opportunities along with a variety of challenges that are best handled by an architect with an extensive knowledge of the council restrictions including erosion lines and tidal inundation issues.
Every beachfront project is challenging. Depending on what is existing on the site combined with the council regulations will determine what you can do. For example, some older beachfront houses may sit beyond the erosion line, which may appear to limit your design possibilities. Working with our trusted structural engineer consultants, we will come up with clever and creative ways to combat these challenges while still meeting the requirements of your brief.
If you are considering a beachfront renovation but are yet to purchase the property, get in touch with us and we can give you advice on what you might be able to do before you make a financial commitment.
EXTENSIONS TO ACREAGE HOUSES
An acreage home extension can draw inspiration from the surrounding landscape and encompass more flexibility for design, not being limited to suburban setbacks and restrictions. You have more space to extend the footprint of your home with additions such as a separate wing, guest house or pavilion.
Quite often older acreage houses have poor foundations and floorplans or they don’t take advantage of the aspect or outlook. For example, an acreage property might have a picturesque dam within eyeshot of the house, but the laundry captures the best view. Using the bones of your acreage home, we can create a floor plan that takes advantage of the views and functions specifically to your needs.
Like all renovation projects, we start with a site visit to measure up the house and come up with a concept design that best meets your brief and makes the most of the house. With acreage home renovations it can sometimes be a fine line between renovating the existing house or knocking it down and starting with a blank canvas.
EXTERIOR FACADE RENOVATION
Exterior facade renovations can breathe new life into the most tired of old homes. With a vast range of modern building materials to choose from there are many ways we can transform an outdated frontage into a modern and timeless façade. Natural materials such as stone and timber or rendered brickwork and glass are just some examples of how we can transform the exterior façade of your home as part of your major renovation.
HOUSE RENOVATIONS – ADDING SECOND STORY
When it comes to house renovation projects, adding a second story offers extraordinary possibilities for transforming your home and adding substantial value.
Some of the beneficial advantages of adding a second story include capturing water views and maintaining your yard space. Moving bedrooms upstairs can also have its advantages by opening up the ground floor and giving you more flexibility for your main living areas. Imagine an open-plan living area with high-ceilings, a stone fireplace and an entertainer’s kitchen equipped with an island bench and servery connected to an outdoor kitchen.
If you are in the later stages of life or have elderly family living with you, the thought of adding stairs might seem impractical. In these instances, we could add a lift to give you access to the second level and give you the option for more flexibility on the ground floor.
Here are some ways that adding a second story can transform your home:
- Adding additional bedrooms for a growing family
- Opening up your ground floor to provide a more spacious living area
- Accessing or optimizing views
- Allowing more natural light into your home
- Creating private rooftop gardens and patios
A site visit following an initial consultation will help us determine whether adding a second story is a possible and viable option for your brief and your budget for your home renovation.
BEFORE & AFTER HOME RENOVATIONS
One of the challenges many homeowners find is that they simply can’t imagine how a home transformation might look. Using the latest 3D technology, at Slater Architects we can show you 3D images and walk-through videos of how your home renovation will look after the transformation. Click here to see more of the home renovations we have completed over the years, including the before and after images
HIRING AN ARCHITECT FOR HOME RENOVATION
Hiring an architect for your home renovation might feel like a major decision but here are some of the things we can offer to help you feel confident about the process.
- We are highly qualified and have 40 years’ experience in renovations
- We will take the time to listen to your thoughts and ideas
- We offer a staged fee proposal which we will explain in an initial consultation
- We can show you 3D images and walk-through videos of your design
- Read testimonials from our former clients here (link)
- Our work been published in the media (link)
- We have won awards for our designs (link)
We take pride in our level of customer service, and that starts before you even agree to engage Slater Architects. If you are considering purchasing a house with the intention to renovate, send us an email (link to contact page) and tell us the address of the property and the details of your brief and we can give you advice on what you can or can’t build on that particular site. For example, if you are looking to purchase and renovate a beachfront property, we can tell you if the existing dwelling sits within the erosion line and can give you an indication of what your options are to renovate.
With a major project like a home renovation, we will be working with you for many months. We will make every effort to make you feel comfortable working through that process together.
THE PROCESS WHEN HIRING AN ARCHITECT FOR YOUR RENOVATION
For many of our clients, it is their first time working with an architect. So, we understand that the process can be daunting. This information should help give you the confidence in knowing what the process involves when engaging an architect for your home renovation.
Once we have received your enquiry, we will contact you to gather some initial details about your project and arrange a time for you to have a consultation with our Principle Architect, Cathy Slater. Cathy will go through your brief in more detail and provide you with a quote tailored specifically to your requirements.
Once you have signed on with Slater Architects for your home renovation we will conduct a site visit to measure the existing dwelling/s and determine the parameters for your renovation.
Following this we will have a meeting to go through your brief in more detail and start laying the groundwork for your concept design (don’t be surprised if Cathy starts hand sketching your house right there in the meeting).
At this stage we may ask you to create a scrap book with images from magazines or websites to help us get a better understanding of what you’re hoping for.
In stage two we convert the hand-sketched concept design into a computerised schematic design, conduct a more detailed analysis of your site and start engaging consultants such as structural engineers to provide advice on any structural requirements in the build and a quantity surveyor will give us an indication on how much the project will cost to complete.
Stage three involves developing and submitting your development application with council. We will manage the process with council until we are ready to start building.
In stage four we will prepare the construction documentation and help you select a builder. We go to tender by engaging a selected number of reputable builders to quote on your project.
We will check references and present you with the best options and even arrange for you to meet with the shortlisted builders to help you make the final decision on who will build your home renovation.
In some cases, you may decide you want to do the building yourself or you may already have a builder in mind. We can accommodate any option you decide.
Stage five involves the interior selections and stage six includes the project management of the entire build. Slater Architects will be there with you from concept to completion.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST FOR RENOVATIONS
As you read this you might have concerns about just how much the architect fees will be. It’s important to remember that an architect is a highly qualified expert. Engaging an experienced and professional architect to design and manage your renovation which will ensure you achieve your desired result and add significant value to your property.
If you decide to contact Slater Architects to provide a quote for your renovation, this is an example of how we structure our fee proposals.
Our architectural fees are broken down into six stages:
- Stage 1 includes meeting with you to go through your brief, budget and timeframe, visiting the site, and coming up with sketch drawings of the concept design.
- Stage 2 includes a detailed site analysis, selection and engagement of consultants and development of your design including refining sketch drawings, preliminary elevations, furniture layouts etc.
- Stage 3 involves development of plans and specifications for the Development Application with your local council.
- Stage 4 involves development of plans and specifications and preparation of the construction documentation and selecting a builder.
- Stage 5 involves all the interior design detailing and selections.
- Stage 6 involves the contract administration and project management of the building process.
After receiving your enquiry, we will go through these stages with you in more detail and provide you with a quote that is specifically tailored to the requirements in your brief.
If you are interested in engaging Slater Architects for your home renovation, click here to give us a call or send us an enquiry and we will be in touch.