Why use an Architect ?
"An Engineer is a person who knows more and more about less and less untill eventually they know everything about nothing. An Architect is a person who knows less and less about more and more untill eventually they know nothing about everything"
No other building professional has the
same breath of training and expertise as an Architect. An Architect is a trained building
professional, who is trained to act as the clients representative and expert in
all aspects of the process of designing and realizing a building project. An
architect in addition to been a skilled designer is also trained to manage the
construction process, including, planning applications, construction detailing,
cost control, building regulations compliance, contract administration, site
inspection and compliance certification. To become a qualified Architect generally requires compleation of a 5 year university degree followed by a minimum 3 years of practice experience and a further exam in proffessional practice. Even after full qualification it is a requirement of registration to complete a minimum of 40 hours ongoing profesional development every year to keep up to date with practice issues and extend knowlege and skills. Couple accademic training with years of practical experiance negotiating the construction process having an Architect on your team is surely a major advantage.
How do I know my architect is properly qualified ?
Up until 2009, unlike almost everywhere else in the developed world, the title “Architect” in Ireland was not protected. In effect anyone could legally call themselves an architect, even without any training or experiance whatsoever. In the absence of legal registration the RIAI link www.riai.ie (Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland) as a self regulating body has required members to have appropriate qualifications (Typically a 5 year degree in Architecture) and experience (Typically 3 years post graduate) and to have passed examinations in professional practice. In 2009 the law changed and the title “Architect” has become legally protected. It is now an offence to claim to be an architect without been properly qualified and registered.
Will other consultants be required ?
Typically a project will require a structural engineer to provide structural details where any significant new building or alterations are required. It may also be necessary to use other specialists such as Planning Consultants, Environmental Consultants or Traffic Engineers.
How much does building work currently cost ?
Building work costs can vary considerably depending on design and specification and contract method. In general we suggest an allowance of €1,500-00 per square meter for new building work and up to €1,000-00 per square meter for total refurbishment. Higher end energy efficiency measures might add €25,000-00 to a typical new build cost.
Generally speaking a more compact house
design is cheaper it to build. For example a two story house would have half
the roof and foundations of a bungalow for the same floor area. We would always
advise considering building less overall area in square meters with a higher
quality design and finish. For example if you take a sitting room of 4x4
m (16m2) and increase it to 5x5 m (25m2) you have built 50% more space but the
furniture is only further apart (or has bigger gaps behind it) It is quite
possible to have a very nice 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, house with a family living
area and separate sitting room of 200 m² as opposed to 250 m² plus which is
quite commonly seen.
The procurement method can also have an
impact on costs. Self build/Self managed construction will invariably be
cheaper than hiring a main contractor, however this requires a significant
input of time and energy from the client and exposes them to all the risks
normally borne by the main contractor. It is more common to have the basic
building completed to “builders finish” and for a client to engage tradesmen
and suppliers separately to finish floors and fit kitchens etc. Unless a client
has some experience with building, we would generally recommend a competitive
tender process and having the main contractor to complete the entire job. With a fully thought through and detailed set of tender documents it is common to find huge variations in quoted prices with even a 50% difference between a top and bottom price not been uncommon for extension and refubishment work.
Some indicative construction costs.
New solar water system including new 300ltr tank. - €5,000-00 Inc Vat
Mechanical heat recovery ventilation - €5,000-00 Inc Vat
Attic Conversion in a typical semi detached house. - €25,000-00 Inc Vat
116m2 terraced cottage - Total refurbishment - €140,000-00 Inc Vat (€1200/m2)
Including attic conversion, new windows throughout, some minor extensions and replacing roofing to ¾ of structure. Energy efficiency measures taking BER from G to B1 and higher end finishes.
126 m² 1980s Bungalow extended to 221 m² - Builders finish - approx €155,000-00 Inc Vat
Existing roof removed, new floor and new raised roof two story extension to the side
145 m² Bungalow extended to 287 m² - Builders finish - approx €180,000-00 Inc Vat
Approximately half of existing building untouched. Half of existing roof removed and new first floor built over. Higher than building regulations levels of insulation to new building, new boiler, solar water and plumbing for 4 new bathrooms, new utility and new kitchen.
22 m² extension - Builders finish - approx €50,000-00 Inc Vat
Existing flat roof circa 10m² removed, walls built up and new roof covering 32 m². New W/c and utility.