Architect for a small refurb: worth it or not...?

As the title says…

If you bought a house that needed more ‘modernisation’ than ‘complete renovation’…if at the very most, you were going to add on a small kitchen extension, but after that it was about putting your own print on the house…

Would it be worth getting an architect?

One assumes they would come up with some fancy ideas for where to locate windows/ where to have partitions etc…

but for the price one pays, do people think its worth it?

Be interested to hear from people who have used them especially.

Architects have wonderful ideas, skills, training, knowledge. I think architects are wonderful.

Unfortunately they’ve priced themselves out of the market.

We started with an architect and after 4 visits, lots of discussions and a few months of waiting the only thing he could manage was what looked like a lean-to at the side of the house. He didnt listen to anything that was said and was very expensive.

So we then got an engineer to do up some drawings according to how we wanted the house to look together practical issues which he was able to advise on. He took care of the planning process and oversaw the building etc. Took 1 year to do the whole job including renovation adding 1250 sq ft and its brilliant.

I wouldn’t consider doing work (other than basic decorating) on a house without consulting an architect. there are some amazing architects out there at fantastic value. talk to as many as you can and find the one that works best with you.

If you feel like you just need a step in the right direction but dont want the whole shebang, consider the “meet an architect” for a €50 donation to the Simon charity option. … open_door/

but please, dont ever use that tool. He makes real architects eyes bleed.

have u bought thebuouse? apply to.improve

A number of smaller practises are doing domestic scale jobs for a flat fee, agreed up front, with consultations, drawings, site visits, oversight, talking to the builders et al included in the total cost. A friend of mine had a pretty complex job done on her (110 sqm approx) house for 5 grand all in and it is really lovely. She was living abroad at the time and the architect even picked her up from the airport and drove her to the house both times she came home to see how things were progressing! I thought that was extremely good value for money, given that the house has been completely transformed and is unrecognisable from its previous (perfectly ok) incarnation.

txirimiri - could you PM the architect’s details?

The right architect will improve your life and save you money. A great architect will help you express your vision and design your home for your life now and into the future. They will be able to maximise the light and heat in your home, the space and storage to make your life work. You definitely need to find one you respect and click with meet/interview a few over coffee - talk to one or two of the people they have worked with before.

Enjoy the process.

My brother had an archy in recently for a kitchen extension because it was a ‘difficult shape’ situation.

I have to say he did a brilliant job.
Some of the things he came up were very clever and the whole thing sits well with the house.

Find one who will give you a free consultation with an indication of consultancy price if you need the more and then prices for elementary plans up to real serious detailed ones if you are feeling positive. You know you requirements better than I.

Do not go with a builder in and say “look sure I;ll do it for this we do them all the time for get the architect it will save you money”, unless you yourself have the pre-existing knowledge or are comfortable to project manage in the most intrusive was as if you had designed it yourself you will bre racked trying to get the build back to fix leaks and polish up the finish. Do you have any friends who are carpenters or even electricians. They often do their own houses up as best they can since they have the know-how, contatcs and experience. Might give you the best insight of all.

Out if curiosity is it a Semi-D to be extended or a less than typical house?

Disclosure, I am an architect.

We recently priced for a small job with a low budget. The client said she knew that her budget was small but that she had seen what the neighbours had done without architects and thought that an architect would be worth the money. She went to a few architects, had a chat about what she wanted to do and got fixed-fee proposals and samples of recent work from each. She could then make an informed decision about whether an architect would be helpful. (She decided to go with us, so obviously felt that an architect could bring something to the project)

If you are considering doing work, why not do something similar? Each project is different and some people may not need an architect, but unless you ask, you won’t know. I don’t know why people assume that all architects do is force their opinion on you and drive up costs. Most architects I know wouldn’t still be in business if that was the case.

Edit: The Simon Open Door initiative is great (as mentioned above). Almost all architects are giving free initial no-obligation consultations anyway though to be honest, but it’s a good charity to be giving money to.

we bought a house last year and did some significant enough work on it - knocked a couple of walls to extend the kitchen and converted the attic.

we didn’t employ an architect and the work turned out fine, but in hindsight an architect would have been the way to go.

everything is grand, but there are a few places where an extra 5% or 10% thought would have made a key difference.

to make it worse, the guy who did the survey of the property before we bought was an architect, and he offered his services for under €1000 to not only do drawings but to project manage the whole job.

should defo have gone with him. if you can get an architect at a good rate, go for it.

Get an architect, a professional pair of eyes will open up lots of potential in your home

I am buying a place and went the architect route for what we want to do and she has done a fantastic job. Just keep an eye on your budget and get referrals.

We did something similar and just got an excellent builder who had years experience and was pretty much an architect himself just without the price tag.
He also had the contacts so got some nice electric rain sensored velux windows in for pretty cheap :slight_smile:

What, do they have little windshield wipers that come on when it rains?

No, they close, great idea, I had one in my bedroom as a child and constantly had a big rain puddle on the floor cause I always left it open.

That is actually fiendishly clever. Or a gimmick, I can’t decide which.

Coincidental timing - my architect is recommending same and they are quoted at 731.85 whereas regular velux are 301.35 so I’d be very interested in a contact for this if you could help.

I’ll send you a PM now for my guy he got us a great deal on our windows and doors.
They are gimiccy I agree but when it’s lovely and warm they are great for cooling the place down and if you forget to close them they automaGically close if it rains!