Recommendation for architect or building designer

funkylovebunny 6 August 2020 21

Hi Rioacters

We’re looking to whack an extension onto our house built in the 1960s on a sizeable block.

We’d like to talk to an architect or building designer about our project.

We’d really appreciate some recommendations for good people to contact in the ACT.

Thanks!

If you’re also looking for an architect, check out our recently updated article on the best architects in Canberra.


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21 Responses to Recommendation for architect or building designer
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zllauh zllauh 4:36 pm 08 Sep 15

Hey funkylovebunny,

We recently had got a bit of extension done at one of our property in watson.

It was done by http://www.thebudgetplasterer.com.au .
Not a flasy mob with a great office but knows his stuff and gave us honest advise.

Would surely recommend giving them a call, if they cant help, i am sure they will atleast point you in the right direction .

My 2 cents.

churl churl 6:35 pm 13 Jan 14

Take care with architects, especially if their fee is a percentage of the building cost (with its implicit conflict of interest).
You might have common law recourse
http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&ved=0CDoQFjAF&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.architects.nsw.gov.au%2Fdownload%2FDiscussion%2520paper%2520-%2520Recent%2520trend%2520in%2520complaints%2520September%25202011.pdf&ei=o5XTUo_fIoeulAXqx4GwBw&usg=AFQjCNGSB_TGTHGmXZfBwErSJgK-xAMZTA&bvm=bv.59026428,d.dGI
but that will cost too…
Some architects seem to be most interested in designing a memorial to their artistic talents.

JC JC 5:04 pm 13 Jan 14

A_Cog said :

Not just builders. Some of the architects and structural engineers were RIDICULOUS. But we settled on a good designer and a good builder, and we did alot of the prelim ourselves.

Interesting your vibes about ABC, but seeing as you had a good experience elsewhere, car to share who it was? I am interested to know, because as mentioned I just started talking so not locked into anyone and am going to shop around anyway.

A_Cog A_Cog 3:15 pm 13 Jan 14

Holden Caulfield said :

A_Cog said :

…Like most business sectors here in the ACT, there are a bunch of slackers who look at you as nothing more than an easy mark, trying to squeeze you so they can pay off their boat or holiday home. I see a few familiar names in this thread…

Let me guess, all the ones who are builders?

Not just builders. Some of the architects and structural engineers were RIDICULOUS. But we settled on a good designer and a good builder, and we did alot of the prelim ourselves.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 2:17 pm 13 Jan 14

A_Cog said :

…Like most business sectors here in the ACT, there are a bunch of slackers who look at you as nothing more than an easy mark, trying to squeeze you so they can pay off their boat or holiday home. I see a few familiar names in this thread…

Let me guess, all the ones who are builders?

A_Cog A_Cog 1:04 pm 13 Jan 14

JC said :

… I spoke with ABC Constructions about some work I am interested in doing and got positive vibes…

Well, when I spoke with ABC Constructions on the phone, I got some horrible vibes. The bloke’s first and only question was “how much do you want to spend on the project?” When I told him the amount, he couldn’t get off the phone fast enough, and left me with the view that they only take jobs where they can squeeze the life out of the budget to pay off their speedboat. Low hanging fruit, anyone?

But the thing is, our project had already been costed by an old small-scale property-developer friend who has renovated several homes (and I helped him on two of them, so I know he’s reliable). My friend was SPOT ON when it came to materials, budgets and contingencies, but ABC were, “over $100,000 and if you think you can do better, then good luck.” And that’s a direct quote from the convo.

But there are other renovation builders/planners who are slack. For example, costing the corrugated tin at “$12,000 to $15,000” (it cost $6,000) or costing a chippie at “+$4,000 a week” (actually $2,300).

Like most business sectors here in the ACT, there are a bunch of slackers who look at you as nothing more than an easy mark, trying to squeeze you so they can pay off their boat or holiday home. I see a few familiar names in this thread…

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 9:53 am 13 Jan 14

liability said :

…$2,000 – $4,000…

Don’t forget the per square metre bit!

liability liability 7:59 am 13 Jan 14

PorkChops said :

Can anyone give me a rough figure of how much it would cost to get a design done for a possible extension. I say ‘possible’ because I haven’t been given the go ahead but I’d like a design done to show what could be done.

How long is a piece of strong? As rough ball park figure you will be looking at around $2,000 – $4,000 depending on size, nature, etc of the extension.

JC JC 6:55 am 13 Jan 14

Sandman said :

We’re in the middle of the same thing, extension and some remodeling of a 60’s duplex. All the design and selections are done, building starts in a couple of weeks.

We’ve gone through Build Proffesional (Matt Hall). They have everything in house right from the design stage and so far we couldn’t be happier. We had a lot of ideas of what we wanted, but they wanted to start with a clear mind and did a session to find out what our goals were. Then they came up with ideas that we’d never even considered and we tweaked the ideas from there.

Sometimes the builders themselves are a good place to start for ideas and the like. I spoke with ABC Constructions about some work I am interested in doing and got positive vibes. From just looking at the house from Goggle earth or some other aerial photography site they were able to give some very basic advice about what may be possible, specifically related to sighting, shaddowing etc. The next step was to get them the existing plans for some rough layout ideas.

As for build professional, haven’t spoken to them (but will soon), but they have just finished doing a double story extension on a house in Archdall Street Macgregor. If the extension was their ‘design’ then they have done a very good job indeed. It has really transformed the exterior of the house from a simple 70’s house to something a lot more modern, but doesn’t look like an extension/reno job, it looks like it was built that way from the beginning. No idea what they did inside though.

PorkChops PorkChops 12:08 am 13 Jan 14

Can anyone give me a rough figure of how much it would cost to get a design done for a possible extension. I say ‘possible’ because I haven’t been given the go ahead but I’d like a design done to show what could be done.

smacg smacg 9:31 pm 30 Jan 13

+ 1 for Adam Hobill. After a bad experience with a draftsman we went to see Adam. He listened to what we wanted, was practical and designed something within our budget. The end result is a great extension with a plan that flows and has addressed all our requirements.

Sandman Sandman 10:04 am 27 Jan 13

We’re in the middle of the same thing, extension and some remodeling of a 60’s duplex. All the design and selections are done, building starts in a couple of weeks.

We’ve gone through Build Proffesional (Matt Hall). They have everything in house right from the design stage and so far we couldn’t be happier. We had a lot of ideas of what we wanted, but they wanted to start with a clear mind and did a session to find out what our goals were. Then they came up with ideas that we’d never even considered and we tweaked the ideas from there.

They’ve been extremely efficient so far, and a major benefit of dealing with the Builder is that they know what your budget is and what things cost. An architect will come up with ideas that could have a broad cost range so you end up doing a lot of changes ( more money each time) to get down to budget and the architect and builder may not see eye to eye on some things that will end up costing you money as well. Our quote was extremely comprehensive and the allowances so far have been pretty spot on.
Build schedule looks nice and tight and they have a builder who works full time only on your job so you don’t have days where you’re living in a bomb site with nothing going on waiting for some other contractor.

I’ve heard lots of horror stories about Reno and extension work but these guys had a fantastic reputation and gave off a good vibe. I was extremely wary about the wife’s plan to do this job but Build professional have put me at ease with the whole thing. I doubt there are many out there that could do that.

JimCharles JimCharles 9:27 am 27 Jan 13

Another thing. I know two people who’ve moved into new houses here and the external design has been dreadful. ie…flooding across gardens into/from next door. One guy’s new garden has virtually been washed away, plus he’s now working with his neighbour to sort out the mess. It’s going to cost thousands, and he bought a finished property ready to move into.
Who controls drainage design? If you have lots of independent architects / builders building alongside each other, do they not work to an overall estate plan to get water drained out to the highway, or do they genuinely just look at their own building and ignore the plot it’s sitting on, plus any impacts that are going to befall them, or they’re going to cause to others?
It seems like a huge gap that nobody cares about, but pretty common,

JimCharles JimCharles 9:22 am 27 Jan 13

So how much (roughly) are you looking at for a design package for a 4 bed? Are they fixed cost for the design and project management, then a time charge rate for changes and no fault delays?

kloggie kloggie 9:48 pm 26 Jan 13

We are designing our home with Adam Hobill from Hobill designs. We are very happy with the process so far. He has listened to what we want and doesn’t rush you to make a decision. Is happy to make as many alterations as necessary.
I think we would have paid a fraction of the cost of designing our place compared to our neighbours who used TT.

gannet gannet 9:39 pm 25 Jan 13

+1 for TT, they are good.
Candida Griffiths does good cost effective extensions.
http://candidagriffithsarchitect.com.au/
Andrew Verri and the team at Jigsaw also very (pardon the pun) good.
http://jigsawhousing.com.au/team/
All are top notch on energy efficiency and such.

Onceler Onceler 1:12 pm 24 Jan 13

TT Architecture do some good work IMO.

dtc dtc 12:16 pm 24 Jan 13

I used to live in a house with an extension designed by Nino Bellantonio, which was a v impressive and v admired part of the house. I spoke to him about some further extensions and he did a great design, but we ended up moving rather than have 2 stories. So I dont know how good he is at project management, but he was a nice guy and produced a good design.

You will find that most architects tend to have a particular ‘style’ and even if you brief them to design something different it will often come back to something like their usual style. So have a good look at the portfolios

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 11:21 am 24 Jan 13

plus 1 for Tim Zuber @ Quatro. He did our plans for a large extension in Duffy and could not have been more helpful.

He really thinks outside the box and managed to fit in more than what we expected without making anything feel squashed in, infact its all still impresivly large.

also very professional and a real nice guy.

Madam Cholet Madam Cholet 10:01 am 24 Jan 13

We used Ryall Design. Young and look outside of the square. We haven’t implemented what they drew up for us yet but were happy with it. They do have a bit of a sustainable bent as well. I believe they have done a lot of work up north as well, however they are located down south.

I think it’s ryalldesign.com.au – if not just google Ryall Design.

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