We know (and you should too) that the advice of an experienced architect is absolutely priceless when it comes to successfully building or renovating a home, but not everyone understands just what it is that an architect does, and the benefits of using one.
Local Brisbane architect Dion Seminara is an expert in the field of designing new builds and renovations – among his many contemporary projects for dion seminara architecture, he also specialises in the re-design of Queenslanders. Here, he explains the specialist skills of architects, and how they can add design benefits and value to a project.
“A large part of an architect’s role concerns coordination; first and foremost with the client, but also with surveyors, engineers, suppliers, contractors and sub-contractors – and all the other parties involved in a construction project, ” explains Dion. “The role of an architect is to understand the client’s needs, reinterpreting these into a designed space and providing a three-dimensional form to demonstrate that understanding. We then convert the concept into construction level drawings, allowing the builder to construct exactly what our client wants.”
WIth detailed construction level documents and specifications, and an in-depth understanding of the building processes, construction stages, and functional design, an architect-designed home should be perfectly crafted and tailored to needs, location and personal style – something Dion’s projects exemplify. “Design is a creative endeavour, so most sought-after architects have the ability to custom design for each individual client and project. This is very different to directing a draftsperson to draw up a carport,” he adds.
Dion’s own motivations came from an early interest in technical drawing, design, and art, which he says served him well during the six years he spent studying his degree in Architecture. “Thankfully my course allowed me to work in a number of architects’ offices whilst studying which gave me a practical component to the coursework. This gave me a good grounding for my career as an architect – 26 years and counting,” he says.
That’s a substantial amount of experience, and Dion adds that he’s seen his fair share of mistakes made by people along the way – the most common being clients underestimating what their project will cost. “They think they can get it done with $200,000 and it ends up costing $500,000,” he says.
Another common issue comes down to the choice of builders. Builders and architects work so closely together for seeing a project through from design to construction to completion, so Dion says choosing the right builder for the job is essential from the outset. And he’s worked with some of the best of them in Queensland.
“You need to choose a builder based on their area of expertise. Renovations, extensions, and additions are often more complex than a new build. Sloping blocks or building a multi-level home are even more demanding from a construction point of view – so you need to make sure whoever you hire is up to the job,” he says.
And Dion’s advice for clients looking for the right architect? “First and foremost an architect needs to be a good listener, and quickly understand the way in which a project reflects the client’s lifestyle,” Dion says. “A willingness to show initiative and think outside the box is imperative. Being an architect is not a 9 to 5 job. Ideas can be inspired at any time, often at three o’clock in the morning!”
You can see more of Dion and his team’s impressive work below, or head to the dion seminara architecture website where he also shares some fantastic tips and articles relating to Queensland architecture, building, and renovation.