Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: Do you design to a budget?
A. Yes, all projects are designed to a budget.
The challenging aspect is to achieve maximum ‘bang for your buck’ for a given budget. A low budget is no excuse for poor design. Part of Bauhinia Architects’ obligation and responsibility is to advise on where to spend your money so you get maximum return on your investment. And equally important, how to go about the design/build process. Managing the budget, particularly where you wish to achieve a unique, non-standard solution, is one of the most challenging aspects to building design. Contact us to discuss how we go about managing your project budget and achieving a unique design.
Q2: Do you specialise?
A. Over the years Bauhinia Architects have been commissioned to provide architectural services on a diverse range of projects. These have included:
- Residential – individual homes, renovations, retirement villages
- Multiple dwelling development
- Tourism – motels, backpacker hostels, resorts
- Commercial offices and workplaces
- Schools and tertiary education
- Indigenous organisations and communities
- Retail interiors
- Government, civic buildings
A common factor across these projects is the expectation of our clientele. They are seeking a creative approach, experienced advice, and simply someone to “thoroughly think it through and plan it out”.
Our thorough step by step design process can be applied to many project types. If we do not possess the relevant skill and experience we advise accordingly upon the initial enquiry. We generally make a recommendation who may be able to help.
Our speciality may well be “regional and Central Queensland”.
Q3: How much do you charge?
A. There is a common misconception architects cost a ‘bomb’! This misconception is generally borne out of rumour and no direct dealings with an architect.
What Bauhinia Architects sell is our time. The amount of time we allocate to a project is determined by a number of factors, particularly our scope of services and our clients level of expectation.
For example, an architectural “full service” generally includes project management, managing approvals, getting the detail right, preparing contracts, overseeing the build phase and the post occupancy defects liability period.
Some clientele require this level of service, many don’t. You may wish to perform many of the tasks required in the design and construction of your project.
Our scope of services and your options are discussed in detail prior to commencement. Once determined, we then offer a service proposal which sets out what we will do, how we go about it and how much it will cost. You can then decide if you wish to engage our services.
Fees can be charges by one, or a combination of three methods: Time based with an anticipated maximum ceiling; or a percentage of the build cost; or a lump sum for an agreed scope of services. The choice is generally yours.
Q4: We hear you need a big budget to use an architect for a house?
A. No, this is not true, particularly for Bauhinia Architects who work in regional Queensland.
Every house deserves to be well planned and thought out, it is after all where we spend a lot of our time.
Quite often we get approached by people frustrated with the ‘standard plan’ mass housing market, enquiring “is it possible to get something designed for us, our site and our budget?” They do not want an architectural showpiece, they simply want to get it right as this is where they intend to raise their family and/or spend the next 10-15 years.
Bauhinia Architects have designed houses to a diverse range of budgets, as low as $50,000 (1994).
We set our level and scope of services appropriate to our client’s level of expectation and budget.
Contact us for a no obligation meeting/discussion to enquire on how we may be able to assist with your project.
Q5: What style of houses do you design?
A. Our client’s aesthetic and subjective preferences dictate the style of our houses we design.
Furthermore each site is an influencing factor in the style of house.
The truth is we design houses with our client. It is a very collaborative approach.
Some clients say “I have no idea what style I like, I just want it functional and well designed”. Most people do have a particular aesthetic preference. Bauhinia Architects’ step by step process will bring this aesthetic preference to the fore.
Q6: What if we don’t like what you design?
A. A past residential client told us once that friends of theirs were considering engaging Bauhinia Architects to design their house and were concerned “what if we don’t like what they design?!”
Our client told them “that almost can’t happen, it’s more of a process.”
Generally, buildings designed by Bauhinia Architects are more a reflection of our clients than ourselves.
Our design process not only identifies our clients functional requirements, but also their aesthetic preferences. The building is designed to our client’s preferences.
Q7: Do you do residential renovations?
A. Yes, Bauhinia Architects have completed numerous residential renovations. Some have been major alterations and additions, others feasibility or concept design only.
On each renovation project we recommend an initial feasibility study to determine whether the project will meet your objectives and budget.
Q8: What’s the difference between an architect and a building designer?
A. Qualifications and registration.
To be an architect in Australia, you need to have completed a university course, normally 5 years full time, followed by at least two years experience, followed by passing State Government Board of Architects examinations.
If you are not on the Board of Architects Register, you cannot call yourself an architect, or offer architectural services.
There are only a limited number of tertiary institutions in Australia which have the resources to offer an architectural education. These courses are more thorough and in depth than building design and drafting courses. This is reflected in the fact architecture cannot be studied by distance education.