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Ask an Expert: Should you Design and Build Your Home?

Spending time at home during Covid-19 has certainly got a lot of us thinking about future renovation and building ideas. When doing a major renovation on your home, you can save on time, money and stress by taking a different approach. We asked Mark and Susan from The Perfect Space, a local design and build company, to tell us how.

Extending your home is a great way to create more space for the family without all the hassle, headache and cost of moving. And let’s face it, with everything that Mosman has to offer including the world’s most beautiful harbour on the doorstep, why would you want to move?

The traditional way is to find an architect to draw up the plans and then put the job out to tender, but increasingly homeowners are taking a different approach and turning to highly efficient ‘design and build’ companies for the smoother process they offer. 

Susan Goldsack and Mark Romeo from The Perfect Space

Local resident Mark Romeo is the founder of The Perfect Space, a concept-to-completion architectural design and build company. As a highly experienced builder, Mark identified a gap in the home extension market a few years ago. He would routinely meet frustrated homeowners who had council approved drawings that hadn’t been reviewed and costed by an experienced builder. It meant beautiful design being abandoned and architect’s fees wasted. Teaming up with architect Susan Goldsack, Mark’s vision was to create a better way of doing things that would save his clients time, money and sleepless nights.

Here, Mark answers some common questions about the design and build process.

Why design and build?

There are huge benefits that come from a builder and architect working closely together right from the start. During the concept design phase, you’ll get valuable input from both that will shape and enhance the design, maximising your budget while ensuring it doesn’t overrun.

This collaborative approach also means you can get an accurate construction cost upfront prior to council approval. This is called a concept design and cost analysis. Not only does it allow for much tighter control of your budget, but you will be able to sleep better knowing that the drawing and plans submitted for council approval are ones that you can afford to build. 

The Perfect Space team worked on this property in Balgowlah Heights.

Are there also benefits to the way project management works?

Absolutely. With one company managing the project from concept right through to completion, the design and build method offers clients a more streamlined process. With one team managing all the paperwork, council requirements, people and priorities, it’s a stress-free building experience that’s highly efficient. 

Our recommendation to anyone embarking on a home extension journey, is to choose a company that has a savvy online project management system like the custom one we use. Regularly updated with timings, costs, photos, and site information, our clients can login at any time of the day and check on the progress of their job. 

What should people look for when choosing a design and build team?

It’s important that you ‘click’. We feel privileged to be allowed to see into a client’s private world and to come up with solutions to improve how they live. It’s a very personal experience with our clients invested in every decision. It often results in lifelong friendships. Developing a strong rapport with our clients is an important part of our business as it fosters open and honest communication which is vital to achieving the best results. It’s also important to choose a design and build team who have proven and successful experience in the type of renovation you want to do. Call a couple of their past clients.

What is your design philosophy?

Form, function and structure must marry perfectly for it to be good design. It’s easy to achieve one aspect but the art is in producing all three in symbiotic solution. The best designs often have a unifying concept idea that drives all decisions tying the whole design and details together seamlessly.

Every architecturally designed home should always embrace the basic sustainable principals of passive solar, natural ventilation, natural daylighting, thermal insulation and a site-specific design response. Wherever possible, we also incorporate sustainable and recycled materials, and sustainable energy fuels and building methods.

What are the design trends you foresee for 2020?

Ah, it’s good to stay on top of them but trends come and go. It shouldn’t be the starting point for a design. Timeless design is more important to us. From a sustainable point of view and quality of life, the goal is to always produce an outcome that people will still love in 100 years’ time and just like an excellent wine, one that ages well.

To contact the team at The Perfect Space and arrange a free consultation:
perfectspace.com.au
instagram.com/the_perfectspace
facebook.com/Theperfectspacehome/
Tel: 02 9907 4568