Is it possible to plan and manage your renovation project yourself to save on costs? The answer to this question will depend primarily on the nature of your renovation since the contractors you require can hugely differ for a property extension in comparison to a bathroom renovation.
To understand the hiring costs involved you first need to meet the professional contractors involved when renovating your home.
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A project manager can have a background in building, interior design and architecture or they could simply be a professional property renovator. Project managers can have a role in all steps of the process - from the initial drawing of plans to negotiating them with tradespeople, as well as being on site to see the renovations finished through to the end.
These individuals are often vital in maintaining the quality of renovations for you by managing and negotiating the costs as well as representing your interests and ensuring construction happens according to your plans.
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Generally, having a project manager is a good idea, unless you are planning to be on site for the duration of the renovation to manage the project yourself. Having said that, often good architects may be able to do this job just as well, so ask around before deciding whether you need to hire a project manager.
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An architect is a professional who specialises in design theory and engineering as well as project management. In Australia, registered architects have undertaken five years of formal design training and have had at least two years of industry experience. They are adept at solving complicated design problems, and ensuring renovations are true to their aesthetic intentions.
This will depend on the extent of your renovations - an architect’s role is particularly important when it comes to whole-house renovations or large additions to your property where important considerations of structural requirements and livability are needed.
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Building designers - otherwise known as ‘draftspeople’, though their role has since evolved - come from many design-related backgrounds and provide similar design services to an architect. However, unlike architects, designers do not have the same formal and academic qualifications. In some states like NSW, there are no inherent qualifications or licensing requirements for designers.
Whether you choose a designer or an architect usually depends on the size of the project - smaller, lower-cost additions to your property are generally thought to be more suited to designers, though this will need to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
Engineers are essential when it comes to dealing with the physical integrity of buildings and this is particularly important with large-scale renovations. Structural engineers will usually work with both the architect and builder to ensure your house will be structurally sound. These professionals are civil engineers trained in understanding and calculating the forces present in your residential structure. An engineer can also let you know if your project may require council approval.
Engineers are not always needed for home renovations, especially if they are simple additions which can be designed by an architect or building designer. However, if your property is built on poor ground or has certain elements e.g. reinforced concrete columns, or roofs that need to be designed for cyclone-affected areas, a structural engineer may be needed.
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To read more about renovation and design-related inspiration, visit Lendi Design.
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