Perils of Choosing the 'Cheap' Design Option

All designers do the same work right? So its smart to pick the cheapest, as at the end of the day, architectural drawings are just a whole lot of expensive pieces of paper for builders to look at…


It is incredibly easy to underestimate the value that a good architectural designer or architect has to the journey of completing a home extension or custom new build in Auckland. While it might seem like a waste of paper to spend thousands on the design of your project, inaccurate plans will cost you a lot more than the price difference (if there is one) between an independent, unproven draftsperson designer or architect and a one stop shop building company like ourselves, who will help you manage this process every step of the way.

​Having a one stop shop company like Certified Home Extensions involved with your home extension or architectural new build means you get the benefit of talking to both a builder and either an architect, architectural designer or draftsperson in the initial stages of the project. This guarantees that your project will be practically feasible as well as aesthetically pleasing

The fundamental reason for this is because the drawings act as a blue print for builders, plumbers, electricians and the other 37+ contractors that are typically involved in a home extension or new build. They need to be right so that your home can be built right, and unless you have a comprehensive understanding of the building code, you have no way of knowing whether they are correct or not.

If the plans are not correct or lack sufficient details, you are going to incur additional costs. Our team sees plans regularly from independent architects or architectural designers which are not detailed enough for anybody to be able to price. This unfortunately means that the risk is higher, so prices either need to be higher due to the lack of information and/or we may not be able to price your job at all until the plans are drawn by somebody with a better understanding of the building code and what you are trying to achieve. ​

For example, one thing that is crucial with the plans for a house extension is making sure that what is existing and what is new is clearly illustrated on the drawings. If this is not the case, then it is extremely likely that variations will be submitted to you throughout construction, possibly resulting in a budget blowout of thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars.

Andy (featured above with Alvin) and his wife Charlotte completed a signifiant extension to their home in Tuakau. The accuracy of the plans that our handpicked architectural designer Mark Sandford were key to the success of the experience that they had – when just about every room in your home is changing, you want the builders to have the correct picture!

Also, having drawings that are incorrect is likely to lead to huge delays when your project is ‘ready’ for Building Consent. Our team has watched as past clients who have used independent architects or designers wait for months, as council submit seemingly endless Requests for Further Information (RFI’s) and their start dates for construction get pushed further and further out. Every time council processors submit an RFI, they pause the consenting process. While it is true that stupid questions are asked frequently during this process, it is best to keep opportunities to ask these to a minimum. Accurate plans that are clear & easy to understand are the only way to do this.

Thats where we come in. Since we first started in 2003 we have worked with a range of draftspeople, architectural designers and architects & after checking past projects, speaking to clients and checking to make sure they are registered either through New Zealand Institute of Architects or Architectural Designers New Zealand, we can confidently recommend the companies that we align ourselves alongside.

The first step to the correct set of plans being produced is an accurate site measure. Featured here is Matthew Bates from Design Solutions in Takapuna completing a measure for our clients Sarah & Warren in Epsom

We don’t stop there though, throughout the process of going from your initial idea, to concepts, to full working drawings, to council consent, we check in with our architectural designer or architect 3-5 times a week. Constant liaison means that we can keep track of where your project is and what the start date is likely to be, so that when council consent is granted, we can start constructing your house extension or architectural new build within 2-4 weeks. It also guarantees that no time is wasted, as everybody is accountable at every stage

So with Certified Home Extensions on board, you don’t have to lose sleep at night about any of these perils. If you are thinking about completing a home extension or architectural new build then reach out to us by either filling in a contact form here, or giving the team a call on (09) 236 6944. Or if you aren’t ready to get started yet and would like some more information, check out our other blogs here.

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