Archive for the ‘Home Building’ Category

Life in a Shipping Container Home

shipping-containerWith shipping container homes in high demand these days, those big steel boxes are no longer just used for shipping goods. More and more people are turning towards alternative ways of living, and the shipping container home offers an affordable and environmental friendly building option.

A well designed, stylish shipping container home stands out from the traditional brick houses in the suburbs, and tend to appeal to those looking for something rustic, cool and different. Building and living in a shipping container home is an adventurous thing to do, and with it comes both positives and negatives.

The rising levels of pollution and population is a key part of the ever growing interest in shipping container homes. Shipping container homes are eco-friendly and energy efficient. The idea of reusing something that is second hand is appealing to many. Shipping containers are made of steel and designed to handle all weather conditions. Its structurally robust build is resistant to shakes, floods and even hurricanes. They also have a relatively long life span, with most shipping containers lasting for about 10 to 15 years. The transportable nature of shipping container homes is another major plus. They can be built off site and delivered. This means you can live in a shipping container home almost anywhere. If you have a smaller container home, they can move with you. The standard shipping container interior dimensions are about 20-40 feet long and 6 inches high. Fitting out a shipping container is similar to fitting out any building. They can be high spec or simple. The build time is much less than a traditional build but it’s important to learn about all the relevant regulations in the area you want to build.

 

While there are many benefits of living in a shipping container home, this lifestyle also comes with its fair share of difficulties. First of all, it’s not always easy to get consent to go ahead with the building and planning. It can be a tricky process depending on the council. Once you get consent, you will find that the actual process of building and maintaining a shipping container home is not as simple and cheap as it seems. There is the issue of insulation. All surfaces of the shipping container need to be insulated. This means building a new set of walls on either the outside or inside of the container, therefore duplicating all the walls you started with. If your shipping container is not insulated properly, this can result in heavy condensation inside of the metal exterior walls.

 

You also need to consider all the space required for utilities and mechanical systems, which even in a large building you need lots of room for. Due to the problem of insulation, you will need to install a robust HVAC system to cool and heat the building. You may end up with low ceilings and not a lot of headroom.

 

It’s also important to remember that although shipping container homes are becoming popular, they are much harder to sell than your traditional brick and tile house. The unconventional nature of shipping container house designs are considered too weird and troublesome for most house buyers. Research as much as you can about shipping container home plans before you go ahead with the process. Make sure to buy containers that are in good condition and have not been previously used to ship any hazardous materials, like toxic chemicals. It can be a great idea, once you know what you’re doing.

 

 

 

Tips for Building Your Dream House

welcomeBuilding your dream home from the laying of the foundation to the final interior design can be a tremendously rewarding experience. It offers you the chance to create a home that will suit your family’s present and future needs. Although building a home requires strong commitment and determination, you can achieve your goal if you start with careful planning. Here are some of the most valuable tips for successful home construction.

 

  1. Plan the Details of Your House

A completed building has so many details and sub-systems. So you must take time to plan all the details of your home. Get acquainted with floor plans so you can effectively plan and sketch the layout of the house before you hire a professional to create the final architectural drawing. You should also know the direction the building will face on the plot of land. If you have a plot of land already, you should go there to access the primary wind direction. It help you to know the position that will offer the best ventilation. This will help you to enjoy good air flow within and around your house.

 

You will also need to start looking at interior design ideas and colour themes that you will like to use straight away, or modify to suit your taste. One of the greatest benefits of constructing your own home is the opportunity to design it in a unique way. You can choose to make it warm and compact or make it look very bright with an open plan, which is ideal if you are still raising a family.

 

  1. Make it Eco-friendly

Building a home in Australia and other Western countries today requires that you pay attention to energy and water conservation. For instance, the Australian government now insists that your building plans show that you have both water saving and energy efficiency measures included, before they are approved. You now need a BASIX certificate when you are submitting your plans. Going green will eventually make your home cheaper to maintain. Basically, you will need to plan for thermally insulated doors and windows, efficient water and toilet systems and possible use of solar panels.

 

  1. Choose the Right Contractor

This is undoubtedly one of the most critical decisions you will make when preparing to build your dream house. You will work with your contractor for many months so you must choose carefully and be sure that you can communicate well with your builder. Your building contractor should have the experience and expertise to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

 

Ensure that your contractor is licensed and insured and a member of the appropriate builders association. Ask your potential builder for references and take time to access their past work. Don’t do business with a builder who cannot offer you at least three to four satisfied clients. Make sure you like the style of the buildings and that the construction suits your style and taste.

 

  1. Apply for Finance

When you are constructing your home, you should apply for a construction loan to finance the project. A construction loan is quite different from a regular home loan. Your construction funds will be released to you in phases. After your lender has assessed your project, the funds will be given to your builder periodically at the end of each phase of the construction. Remember to put together your initial deposit for your loan. Bear in mind that you may need to pay a higher percentage than what you will normally pay for a home loan.

 

  1. Seek for Ways to Save

No matter what you put on your initial budget for your building, you can still find ways to save money. This is vital because you will come across many finishing costs that you did not plan or budget for like gas and electric meters, landscaping, fencing, gates and window coverings. You can save cost by shopping around for the lowest prices on fixtures and fittings, and other materials that your contractor will use. Make sure you obtain several quotes for all building materials. You can also save money by selecting a building site that requires very little preparation and clearing.

 

To reap the full rewards of building your own home, you should follow the recommendations offered here. Also, do more research to find out all the building regulations and codes that you and your contractor must follow so you can have a pain-free construction project.

6 Factors of Efficient Home Expansion

image 2Everybody wants more space and everybody wants a bigger house. If you do not want to go on the market and sell your home in order to buy a bigger one, your only other option is to expand the house you have. It is easier said than done, but it is not impossible to do. If you listen to what the experts have to say, as well as those that already went through this courageous endeavor, you will be just fine. Here is how you end up living in more space.

Think about Possible Permits

It would be a financial disaster if you started your works, only to realize that it all has to be pulled down because you cannot get all the permits. Different areas demand different permits, so make sure that you check yours. Experienced construction workers can give you some tips and advice about it, but you should check with the authorities.

Kindly Talk to Your Neighbors

You are not the only one who will be affected with the drastic changes of your home. It would be very kind if your neighbors would have a say in it. Of course, they are not about to alter your plans, but if you are blocking their view or a back entrance, it is their business, as well.

Consider Changing Materials

Once you decide to expand your home by making an additional room or closing down a porch, think about doing it with a different material. For example, a house made of red brick will look very charming if the porch is all closed up in wooden walls and painted white. If you have a white fence to match, the combination is perfect.

Think About Connecting to the Yard

At times, you do not really need the roof and all the walls to make the expansion. If your home is L shaped, you have the space in the corner that can be used for a summer living room. All you need to do is to visually and physically separate it from the rest of the yard and decorate it as a real room. For some shade, you can make a nice pergola or even let crawling plants take care of it.

Repurpose the Rooms Inside

image 7Before adding the rooms to your home, think about their purpose. If you need a bigger living room, think about repurposing your bedroom for that or bringing down some walls. Changing the purpose of your rooms can make you come up with some easier, cheaper or more efficient alterations to your space.

Hire Professionals to Do the Job Right

There is much more to expanding your home than just good will. You need proper extension builders working on your case if you want it done properly. Otherwise, you may damage some bearing walls or make a room that you cannot heat or cool properly. All these things are taken into consideration when the professionals do the work. They will even show you some of their own ideas about your space that you may easily like more than your own.

Whatever you do, make sure that you calculate the costs first. Ask yourself if the expansion will add value to your house or not and if you have the money to do it in the first place. At times, it is really less expensive to sell your home and buy a bigger one, investing the money meant for the expansion for a new purchase. There is nothing worse than running out of money during this type of project, so plan carefully.

 

 

 

 

Things To Consider Before You Decide To Renovate Your Home

HouseOnce you finally decide to renovate your home and change all the things that were not functioning well, you should not rush into the project immediately, but be thorough and careful. If you have prepared well, read dozens of articles, and talked to plenty of people who have shared their experiences and offered advice, you still have a few things you need to settle before you take the tools and call the contractors. By being meticulous and careful, you will be able to save money and time, thus ensuring your family and you get ‘new and improved’ home sooner.

How long will you stay in your home?

Another thing to think about before you start renovating is the time you are planning to spend in your hole? Will you stay here for as long as you love, or will you move after five, ten or twenty years? If you are planning to move rather soon, you don’t need to make big changes, but if your home is something you will leave to your family, a ‘legacy’, then you need to have a lot more on your mind: growing teens, future grandchildren, and your own old age. Metal roofs, stone surfaces, durable floors, and excellent plumbing are all things which will ensure that your home stays in good condition for decades.

Windows

floorWooden windows are so 12 hours ago, not only does the wood age pretty well, especially when exposed to rain, frost, and sun, but layer upon layer of paint is going to affect them. If replacing each window seems like a too big of an investment, you might try calculating how many new windows you can afford and replace the ones that are in worst condition. Kitchen and living room windows that cannot close properly lose way too much energy and warmth, so try replacing them first. Perhaps there will come the time to change the rest of the windows as well, but if they are not a priority, don’t invest in them at the moment.

Ceiling

Besides painting your ceilings, what else have you been doing to them recently? Ceilings are usually plain white and only used for chandeliers and lights, but what if you can add dark wood or wallpapers to add depth and more texture to the room? Change ceilings in the living room, master bedroom, or children’s room; it does not take too much money and can drastically change the way a room looks. For doing the work on the ceilings, you might want to avoid ladders and opt for a scissor lift instead, because these are much more reliable and safer.

Water

Good water management can save you a lot of time in the long run, and it is not too expensive. Go green with your water usage for a change, think about insulating your hot water tank and pipes to save energy, and install low-flush toilets which are going to save you plenty of energy. If you can, try reshaping your landscaping in such way, that water is drawn away from your foundation instead towards it. In addition, you can also plant a grass parking spot which can act as a grassed swale and help control storm runoff.

Remember two things: no matter how well prepared you think you are, it is going to cost more than you thought and last longer than you expected. Nothing to worry about, it happens to everyone, and if you are looking for ways to overcome these ‘minor obstacles’, keep in mind that proper planning is going to save your nerves and your money.

Top Reasons To Get A Container Office

pic (1)Every single savings that a business can make nowadays is significant. The economic competition on the global level is heating up, causing everyday challenges for business owners and employees alike. As the number of businesses grows, there is an increasing need for new office space, as well. Those who don’t want to waste money on fancy offices should shop around and check out some alternatives. One of the most affordable and functional options recently gaining popularity are shipping containers.

 

Diverse Work Distribution

Using containers for your business premises contributes to smoother work organization. For instance, you can rent a smaller office for the members of the management and install containers for the workers. On the other hand, you can buy several different containers and put them at the same spot. Thanks to their adaptability, the containers can be joined together or left separated, whatever you think improves your business operation.

 

Comfortable Work Conditions

Work conditions can lead a business to great heights or ruin all the efforts made by the employer and the employees. Modern offices usually offer a vast array of amenities for workers to feel relaxed. However, the notion that you actually spend your work time in a corporative environment can sometimes backfire.

Business visionaries are trying to move a step forward and give their workers a different offer. Containers can be placed in idyllic surroundings, outside busy city hubs, which ensures more comfortable work conditions. Check out this container office in Copenhagen and the way it’s organized.

 

On-the-go Offices

pic (2)Once you realize that you want to move your business, you will have to go through numerous legal procedures. However, using these alternative solutions for your office will make the whole process of moving much easier. First of all, you don’t have to waste thousands of dollars on finding your new premises. Second, you can move your containers with you, wherever you think would be appropriate for the nature of your business and your employees. Finally, you can store the inventory and the equipment you use on of the containers themselves, allowing you to save even more.

 

Low-Cost, High-Yield Investments

When you decide to buy those shipping boxes, you can be sure that you are making a smart investment. Contrary to the traditional brick-and-mortar constructions, containers require little additional work and they are also an eco-friendly option. Whatever new features you might need to fulfill your container business needs, they will be more affordable than investments in old-school offices. What is more, when you buy a container, it becomes your property, unlike leased downtown offices.

 

Multipurpose Warehouse

Storing products can be a tricky thing for every business, especially in the retail field. People often need to rent additional space to keep their products safe and easily accessible. By installing a container as your retail warehouse, you will have complete control over your goods. Also, if the rent of your current store space becomes too high, this container warehouse can serve as a temporary store. In addition, you can keep your private things in your warehouse and make your home less cluttered.

 

Modern trends demand a high level of adaptability, business-wise. The Internet has expedited the process of business communication and companies have adapted to it. Now, shipping containers are dictating new trends in the field of office culture. They enable companies to develop a more personalized approach to business organization and give them more freedom in locating their premises. If you want to make your business a modern enterprise, you should look into using containers as your offices, and enjoy all their benefits listed above.

Follow Nature Laws – Make Your House Shine

Environmental issues are becoming more evident from day to day. Fortunately, people are trying to fight them with equal persistency and what better place is to start that fight than the very place they live in. Making a new home or drastically shaking things up by reinventing the old one is a great opportunity to get yourself in tune with nature laws and make the place where you live as appealing and green as possible. There are several ways to do that, from aiming for the looks that will blend more seamlessly in naturalistic environment to making it more sustainable and we will try to cover them all.

Choosing the Right Construction Material

Traditional brick & mortar method of tackling the construction is neither cheap, nor good looking. Stone and wood, are on the other side completely organic materials that served as a basis of every construction work for centuries, so we can easily say that they have some pretty good reputation. Houses made of them are beautiful, eco-friendly and very cost-effective. Alternatively, you can always opt for straw bales, which are cheap, reliable and light material that will provide you with completely solid construction when combined with mortar.

Indoors Matters As Well

bambooIf you are worried that you will have to make some huge compromises with internal design in order to remain green, your fears are irrational. For, example, bamboo is rapidly renewable resource, so it can serve as very visually pleasing material for your floor. Not only that Japanese style living room will look absolutely gorgeous but it can also be affordable as well.  Woven bamboo is more durable option and it also looks like grained wood. Recycled glass is good alternative to granite or another stone that’s not renewable for your countertops. It is still somewhat hard to find, but, as the time goes by, it will certainly catch on and become widely available.

Green Painting

Without any intention to bother you with complicated chemistry, we have to point out that majority of paints contain chemicals that are harmful both to you and to Mother Nature, namely VOCs (Violate Organic Compounds), fungicides and biocides. Therefore, you should search for paints with low amounts of these. Still, even the label “low VOC” means that they don’t contain more than 250gm/l of VOCs and you can find options that go as low as 0-100gm/l. If you need help in choosing the right option you can always seek trustful commercial painters.

Make the Most out of Energy you Have on Disposal

This means that energy-efficient light bulbs and double-glazed windows that reduce condensation and CO2 emission and cut your bills by 12% are well prescribed. With a little bit of clever landscaping you can make sure that your house is covered with shade, which will help you to survive hot periods without need to use air conditioning. Same goes for the natural light. Making long house positioned to utilize sun’s light during afternoons with plenty of windows, verandas and adjustable louvers will lower the need for artificial light.

All these things maybe don’t seem so radical or helpful on the paper, but remember, every journey starts with a single step and every contribution no matter how small, counts. If you motivate just one person to follow your footsteps your part in preserving nature will be tremendous. Now, make that house shine.

Rising Trend of Container Homes

Apart from new technologies and general life improvements, the modern era brought us a lot of architectural novelties and housing ideas which are applicable in many areas of life, from business field to regular private residence. One of the most authentic ideas that contemporary architecture gave us are the shipping containers being used as fully adjusted living spaces. Their usage is rapidly becoming a trend in the sustainable community, without showing a sign of any extenuation in future. Considering that more and more people are starting to recognize the overall benefits of using shipping containers as regular housing facilities, it won’t be unusual if the rises on a global scale.

container-home-1What causes the rising trend of container homes?

People are increasingly looking to create home space which is at the same time simplified and advanced, without usual building time and maintenance requirements characteristic for regular constructions. The times when homeowners were waiting for months for their brick house to be built and adapted so they could move in are gradually starting to disappear, with quickly assembled structures attracting a lot of attention of families and individuals.

Eco friendly living premises reached the highest level of demand in the last few years so people are more interested in green housing options, and shipping containers are highly suitable for such a mission. By reusing the containers we are contributing to the preservation of environment. The installation of container-based houses is incomparably cheaper than building or buying regular house. Even if you have to pay a particular remuneration for containers you want to use, it can’t possibly reach the amount required for setting up any of conventionally built houses, which is why people widely choose containers for resolving their housing issues.

Container homes don’t have space limitations, since the owners can extend their living space by simply merging several containers in a row. With the current situation in the world housing market not so great in the last several years due to the widespread economic crises, it’s easy to predict that a significant amount of population will turn to container structures.

Shipping containers’ versatility of use

container-home-2Among many reasons which influenced the increase in popularity of container structures, their versatility is what makes them extremely attractive to plenty of people around the world. One of the recent implementations of shipping containers is seen in building comfortable living structures for helping students afford their accommodation. Container flats for students are becoming popular thanks to their functionality, but especially because they are a very inexpensive type of accommodation, so a lot of universities already started creating container complexes for their students.

Plenty of world cities and villages recognized the benefits of container homes, leading to dozens of fully installed container buildings within, and overall interest in this kind of constructions is expanding continuously. Both small and large companies which strive to improve their business space are deciding to make their offices out of shipping containers in order to turn to green alternatives and reduce their costs.

The future of container housing

Considering current interest in housing purpose of shipping containers, great striving for cost minimization and the expansion of eco friendly accommodation solutions, it is certain that modern society will face a growing implementation of containers in future too. Besides, people will always continue to search for mobility and easy maintenance of their homes.

Buying New? 10 Ways To Make The Process A Total Breeze

Buying New- 10 Ways To Make The Process A Total BreezeThe real estate market is booming as key economic indicators are pointing up again. There’s no better investment to make to secure your family’s financial future than real estate. If you’re buying a new home, here are ten great tips for making your purchase a total breeze:

 

1. See the Specs

There’s no better way to determine whether you will like a new home than to check out the model. Walk through the model. Open drawers. Check out the closets. You can see the construction and detail quality for yourself.

 

2. Talk to Others

If you’re hiring a contractor or developer to build your perfect dream home, make sure you talk to other customers. History does tend to repeat itself, and happy prior customers are a great sign.

 

3. Compare Online

Do you homework online. Nearly everything you want to know about new home construction is available to you online with a quick search.

 

4. Use a Trusted Builder

Reputations are built on hard work and honest interactions. Builders who are known and trusted in your community are a safe bet. You can also go check out other new home developments in your area, see what options you have and what you like or dislike about different layouts.

 

5. Use a Contractor Who Has Been in Business Longer

It’s better to hire someone with a history of building homes than to hire a newly formed company. Experience counts- you don’t want to pay a new builder to learn on the job.

 

6. Select Products You Know

When you buy a new home, you will get to select finishes such as sinks, bathtubs, flooring, lighting and more. Take the mystery out of selections by using a brand you’ve come to love.

 

7. Call the Better Business Bureau or Angie’s List

You can also check your new builder’s company out by calling a business group such as the BBB or Angie’s List. Sometimes, these groups can help you avoid problems by pointing out issues with the builder or company.

 

8. Check References

You should ask your builder for personal client references. Then, call the references. After you call them, if they are satisfied with their home, drive by the home and check it out for yourself.

 

9. Buy In a Known Neighborhood

If you are buying a new home, be sure to buy in a location that you already know. If you are new to the area, check out the schools. Check out whether there are conveniences nearby such as shopping and libraries.

 

10. Compare Prices

When you buy a new home, you will be given an estimated per-foot building cost. Compare these costs to other builders for similar finishes so you know that your builder’s pricing is in line with competitors’.

 

There’s no better way to build financial security for your family than the purchase of a home. New homes are a blank canvas to inspire and invigorate us. When you purchase new construction, you get the be the first person to live in a beautiful brand new space tailored to your own specifications.

Commonly Used Cladding Types for Industrial Steel Buildings

steel constructionA steel structure is not a building without a building envelope, or the shell that separates the interior space from the exterior space. There are several cladding types used to distinguish these two spaces in industrial steel structures.

No steel building is complete without a building envelope. This is the shell that protects and separates the interior environment of the structure from its exterior environment. In order for the building envelope to properly do its job, it should consist of the right components. Listed below are metal cladding systems that are commonly used for a steel structure’s building envelope. Note that these are the most often used for industrial steel buildings.

Single-skin trapezoidal sheeting

The name of this cladding system says it all: it makes use of a single sheet, typically manufactured from pre-coated steel (0.7 mm gauge). The sheeting also gets its name thanks to the metal’s trapezoidal profile, whose depth measures about 32 to 35 mm. This use of the cladding system is pretty straightforward—the sheeting is attached directly to the purlins. This cladding system does not come with insulation, and is often utilized for steel structures to be used for industrial and agricultural purposes.

Built-up cladding system

This cladding system is more commonly used and more complicated than single-skin sheeting because it consists of more components, all of them built on site (as the name implies). Aside from the outer metal liner itself (known as the weather sheet), it also has an insulation layer, a system for spacing as well as another metal liner. This cladding system has limited spans mainly because the cladding sheets used have limited spans (between 2 to 2.5 m), and it requires additional support in the form of side rails or purlins.

The liner sheet, usually made from cold formed pre-coated steel or aluminium and has a trapezoidal profile, serves as support to the thermal insulation; it also gives restraint to the purlins and allows an airtight layer to be created. For insulation, mineral wool slabs may be used, but mineral wool quilts are most recommended; the latter is cheaper, lighter, easier to handle and has lower thermal conductivity. As for the spacer system (which often consists of a bar and bracket), its main function is to support the weather sheet and allow the right spacing between that and the liner sheet. As its name suggests, weather sheets protect the structure from the weather.

Insulated panels

This type of cladding is sometimes called composite or ‘sandwich’ panels, and for a reason: it consists of an insulation layer inserted between two metal sheets. This makes for a lightweight but durable panel that has notable spanning capabilities.

This cladding system is typically used as an alternative to built-up cladding for industrial and retail structures. However, sandwich panels are quite different from the aforementioned cladding type. For instance, this cladding system does not require a spacer system—the insulation layer is stiff and strong, so it can properly keep the space between the metal skins. Loads applied to the surface of the cladding shift from the external sheet through the adhesive and insulation layer to the internal metal sheet and supporting steelwork.

For insulated panels, the material most commonly utilized for the middle layer is polyisocyanurate or PIR. This material does not need adhesive to attach to the sheets; when sprayed on the metal, it immediately expands and sticks to the sheets. Nonetheless, there are other materials used, most of which need adhesive. These include mineral wool.

When it comes to steel buildings construction, profiled composite panels are most preferred for roofs to allow rainwater runoff but the flat panels are often chosen for walls because they are more aesthetically pleasing.

Standing seam systems

This type of cladding is known by another name—secret fix. A standing seam system is called as such because it does have a ‘secret fix’ in the form of a clipped joint for the weather sheet. Such joint is placed between adjoining metal skins so that there is no need to have fasteners exposed. This unique feature also makes the cladding system more weather tight. Usually made from steel or aluminium, this type of cladding is ideal for low roof slopes. A standing seam joint in the outer sheet can be incorporated in an insulated panel cladding system.

One disadvantage of the standing seam system is that unlike a fixed system, its make allows for less restraint to the purlins. Fortunately, this problem can be addressed with the addition of a properly fixed liner.

Structural liner trays

This cladding system is often used in place of composite wall panels. This type is made up of a structural profile that has an insulation slab inserted into it. The insertion of the insulation on the profile is done on site. Structural liner trays differ from built-up systems because they do not need secondary cladding rails; the former comes with liner trays that span directly between the key structural columns, so additional support is not required. Because it can do without more steelwork, it is faster and easier to install. This type of cladding may be added with perforations to meet acoustic requirements.

Structural deck and membrane roof systems

Another alternative to built-up cladding, these systems are favoured on low pitched or flat roofs. This type of cladding consists of a metal deck (with a trapezoidal profile) with enough depth and gauge to span directly between trusses, roof beams or rafters. The deck, which is usually 100 mm high and 0.75 to 1 mm thick, supports a insulation layer which in turn supports a waterproof membrane. The membrane, which is made rigid, allows the loads to transfer from it through the insulation to the deck without a spacer system or external metal skin. Because the structural deck can restrain the top of the truss or beam, this cladding type can be suitable for steel buildings whose roof structures are designed to be simply supported.

Michael Harrington penned this article. The author, who has written many articles about a wide range of topics, now writes steel building-related content for Steel Buildings Design.

Why having a good architect on board is a good idea

architectIf you’re adding an extension to your home or starting another remodeling project, you might be considering using the services of a professional architect.  Yes, it’s true that having an architect on board can add thousands to your project’s budget, which isn’t great when you’re trying to keep costs down, but can you really afford to be without the expertise and knowledge of a professional in their field?  Architects can provide a range of services that will help you with your project, and this can be invaluable, particularly if you don’t have any prior experience.

What do architects do?

Architects look at your property, listen to your ideas and then draw up solutions, coming up with approximate building costs to help you plan your project.  They’ll draw up floor plans or blueprints, work alongside a structural engineer for any permits, oversee construction and help to select contractors – their advice and assistance is invaluable.

Budget friendly

Whilst architects fees can be expensive, make sure you get quotes from a few before selecting the right architect for your project.  Usually, fees can be negotiated – some architects will charge a flat fee for drawing up plans or blue prints, and many will charge an hourly rate once construction begins.  Remember that it’s your budget, so let the architect know exactly what you need them to do and take things from there; be honest about your budget and what you can realistically afford!

Saving money

Whilst it costs quite a bit to hire an architect, having one on board is a good idea as they will actually save you money.  If you’re making changes to the exterior of your property or spending more than five per cent of the property’s value on significant changes, you should hire an architect.  The architect’s role is to ensure your plans are visually appealing, complementing the rest of your property.

New faces

If you’re on a really tight budget, you might be wondering how you can afford an architect – do you really need one?  Look for newly-qualified architects whose fees will match their experience; they’ll be keen to get stuck into a project and you will save money, so it’s a win-win situation!

The benefits

So, why do you really need an architect – what benefits will they bring to the table?  For a start, your home will be more aesthetically pleasing if you hire an architect to add the ‘wow’ factor to your project.   Architects care about the finished product and what it looks like, so you can be sure your extension or home improvements will look stunning.  You’ll also have an extra pair of (experienced) hands on board to oversee all aspects of your project, from costing to permits, floor plans and blue prints, and they’ll ensure that your contractors are carrying out work to a high standard in terms of quality and safety.

Hiring an architect for your next project is a great idea which is sure to make things run much more smoothly – you’ll wonder how you ever managed without one!

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