Do I really need to hire an architect to design my home? Can’t I get the job done by someone who drafts housing plans? Is the cost of hiring an architect way high? If you are in the process of building a house, you may remember these questions well. Of course, it is very common to have such problems when you are on your way to building a dream home of your own. It only shows how excited you are.
So today, we thought we should talk about this. Let’s start with the questions we have.
Is it a must to hire an architect, when designing a home?
No, it’s not compulsory. When building a house in Sri Lanka, there are several options to choose from. The three most popular methods are:
- Hiring an architect
- Hiring a company (design & build firm)
- Building a house by asking a draftsman or a planner to create a plan, and getting the house built by a baas (බාසුන්නැහේ) or a construction company
However, according to Sri Lankan law, it is compulsory for an architect to be involved in constructing houses which exceeds 4000 ft². There are several benefits of getting your house designed by an architect. And we can safely say that it’s the best practice to follow.
Also, we can hand over this job to a company. Then you have to look into the company and study the projects completed by them earlier, and make your decision. Often times, a good outcome can be achieved by companies who work with architects.
Again, if we come back to the topic, there are several benefits if you choose to hire an architect to build your home. Architects are the people who have technically studied about designing houses. Therefore, they are aware of the problems that can arise in a home, over a period of time.
Another factor is the environmental impact of construction. Although we tend to focus less on this, there is nothing wrong with saying that this is really the point. Sometimes we feel that the damage done to the environment from a poorly designed home is negligible. But since a large percentage of construction works in Sri Lanka is house construction, the numerous unplanned homes can have enormous environmental impact. That’s why we think that hiring an architect should be a trend.
Simply put, this can be explained as follows. The same difference is here as you go to a pharmacy and take some medicine or else you may channel a doctor, do your medical tests and get some medicine. If the medication from a pharmacy is not good for you, you can go to a doctor again. But in this case, you may find it a bit difficult to do. So make the right decision in advance. Because we don’t always build houses.
Does the final cost considerably go high if we hire an architect?
Many people see this as an unnecessary expense. There are several aspects to this. As an accredited profession, an architect has a unique value, just like in other professions. The journey to become a chartered architect is also not an easy one. So it is quite reasonable to pay them for the knowledge and experience they have gained. More than an expense, this is really a good investment. Because a home is built for long-term usage, an architect has the ability to foresee the costs that may occur in future, and make design decisions that would reduce such costs.
There are compromises made by architects. As such, only for projects with a budget under 5 million LKR and over 500 million LKR, architects can charge in a rate they prefer. Which means, projects with a budget of between 5 million LKR and 500 million LKR have a standardized rate. This will help us to make sure we are not overpaying for their services.
Another misconception about hiring an architect is that, an architect should be hired only if the project budget is high. This is a myth. An architect has the ability to do his best within the client’s budget. Also, an architect’s knowledge of the latest materials and products enables him to make a budget effective design to avoid unnecessary expenses.
If you are serious about your dream home and are planning to design and build scientifically, in order to minimize environmental impact, we recommend hiring an architect.
This is an article answering many questions we were received. We hope you found this useful. If you have anything to add, do so in the comment section below.
Finally, we would like to mention that this article was written for the sole purpose of accurate knowledge sharing, and not to offend any profession or group.