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Which do I need first - an architect or a design-build company? Which do I need first - an architect or a design-build company?
Which do I need first - an architect or a design-build company? Which do I need first - an architect or a design-build company?

Which do I need first - an architect or a design-build company?

Which do I need first - an architect or a design-build company?

See all articlesOutdoor facade of a modern two-storey white house
Building Advice
Supa Group
Supa Group
October 25, 2023
Director of Building
October 25, 2023
minute read

Undertaking a home extension project is a significant investment, both in terms of finances and emotions. It's a journey that promises to transform your living space, enhance your lifestyle, and add value to your property. However, it's also a journey filled with decisions, starting with a crucial one - should you hire an architect or builder first? While many people may believe this is the natural first step, we’re here to show you why hiring a design and construct builder instead may be the key to a cohesive, budget-friendly extension build. 

In this article, the team at Supa Group will explore why beginning your home extension project with a design and construct builder can be a financially safer choice. We'll outline how this approach can help you navigate budget constraints, maintain cost control, and ultimately ensure that your home extension not only meets your design expectations but also aligns with your financial realities.

Understanding the different roles 

When it comes to completing home extension projects, builders and architects each play distinct roles. However, there’s also a third option that may be better suited to your design and build needs.  


An architect’s role in a home extension project is to translate the homeowner's aspirations into a well-conceived design. They assess the existing space and the client's needs, developing detailed plans, conceptual sketches, and drawings that outline the extension's layout, structure, and aesthetics. Architects also navigate complex building codes and zoning regulations, securing the necessary permits to create your dream home.  


A builder's role in a home extension project is to bring your vision to life through practical execution in the building process. They work as a project manager and are responsible for the hands-on construction work, including managing labour, sourcing materials, and coordinating subcontractors such as electricians and plumbers. 

Design and construct builders 

Design and construct builders offer a streamlined approach to extension projects. It combines the role of both design and construction under one roof, working closely with clients to create architectural plans, provide cost estimates, and manage the entire construction process. This integrated approach simplifies communication, reduces the potential for delays, and often results in cost-effective and efficient project outcomes, making design and construct builders a popular choice for many home extensions.

[process_video]Learn more about our process[/process_video]

Start your home extension project with a design-build company 

Ready to get started with your home extension? By choosing a design-build company for your project, you obtain both design and construction services in one cohesive package. Designers will create your project plans while a team of builders are ready to bring those plans to life. This offers a convenient and comprehensive solution that eliminates the need to separately engage an architect or builder. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the many reasons why a design and construct builder is the best choice for your home extension project. 

Early budget clarity 

Starting with a design and construct builder allows you to gain early insight into the potential costs of your home extension project. Builders are well-versed in construction costs, materials, and labour expenses, and they can provide you with preliminary cost estimates based on your project's scope. 

In addition to helping you budget the construction phase of the project, design and construct builders can help you set realistic financial expectations for the design process. Usually, most architects require large upfront fees, and seeing one first might mean you’re paying for detailed designs that aren’t actually conceivable. Design and construct builders require a smaller design fee, and because the construction will happen through the same company, cost guidance will be ascertained right from the early concepts of the project. This means your initial design is what will become reality. 

Focus on feasibility 

Engaging with a design and construct builder for your home extension process means they can assess the feasibility of your project based on your goals and budget constraints. 

They can identify potential challenges, suggest cost-saving alternatives, and offer valuable insights on how to achieve your vision within your financial means. This proactive approach helps you make adjustments to your plans if necessary, ensuring that your home extension remains viable throughout each phase of the project. 

Simplified communication and collaboration

Choosing a design and construct builder creates simplified communication and collaboration throughout the project. As all services are happening under the one roof, you only need to liaise with one company to ensure all extension build expectations are aligned. 

Having a design and construct builder on your side means you create a collaborative environment where both parties work together seamlessly. This can result in more efficient decision-making, ensuring that your preferences and budget considerations are consistently addressed.

Streamlined decision-making 

By involving a design and construction builder from the start, you can streamline the decision-making process. These companies can help you make choices that align with your budget, avoiding costly design changes later in the project. 

For example, many builders have specific materials or build methods they prefer which can reduce costs or maintenance risks down the track. Therefore, it’s easier if these efficiencies are incorporated into the design from the start. Seeking help from a separate architect first means it’s likely that your builder will want to make several changes to the design as the build progresses, and this often involves more fees which you must pay the architect for the required changes. 

However, by hiring a design and construct builder, you get to reduce the likelihood of costly modifications, having everything packaged together by the one company.

Industry experience 

Design and construct builders collaborate with suppliers and trades on a daily basis. With this industry experience, it is only natural for them to have more of a current and practical understanding of the changing costs associated with extension build planning and execution. 

When an architect is visited before a construct builder, the focus is usually on the quality of the design itself. This means factors such as feasibility and budget-friendliness in construction are often overlooked. 

Design-build options 

At Supa Group, our process involves a concept design step before the build construction. During this phase, we create 3D designs of your home extension so you can do a virtual walkthrough of your space and make any necessary changes. This allows you to visualise your home extension and get a better understanding of what your extended home will look and feel like. 

Therefore, choosing Supa Group means gaining access to a team of engineers, planners, and external draftsmen who create a clear design and construction plan for your extension build. This allows us to add as much value as possible to your existing home.  

Get the right design and construct builders on your side 

While architects and builders play a crucial role in creating your home extension, hiring a company that offers both services may be a financially prudent choice. 

Ultimately, design and construct builders can help you embark on your home extension project with confidence, knowing that you're making financially sound decisions from the outset. 

[service_links]Get an award winning extension builder on your team[/service_links]

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