Top tips for working with an architect or designer

If you’ve never worked with an architect or designer before, the prospect might seem a little daunting. After all, they are people who are going to have a major influence on your home build or renovation.

You might be concerned that, like any working relationship, things won’t quite ‘gel’ and you’ll be left with a home that doesn’t meet your expectations. We’ve asked industry expert and Hebel enthusiast, Helen Lloyd-Martin from design firm 3D Environment, for some helpful tips for when working with an architect or designer.

A little research goes a long a way

Helen believes nothing pushes the process along faster than clients who do their own research before the first meeting.

“We now live in an age where information is so readily available and easy to find that it’s almost expected that clients do a little research beforehand,” Helen said.

Jumping online and doing a search on Google can really help you ascertain what’s available and what you’re after in terms of style and building materials.


Helen Lloyd-Martin builds homes with a focus on sustainability, which is why she often uses Hebel.

Like most relationships, communication is key

You’re going to be working with your architect or designer for an extended period of time. To make that relationship a successful one, both parties need to present information in a clear and concise manner.

For the homeowner, it’s outlining expectations from the onset and communicating exactly what you want to achieve in your home. Helen explains what she initially asks clients to get the ball rolling.

“I ask a lot about their lifestyle and how they want to live. This can range greatly from a sense of relaxation to an intimate connection to the outdoors, to a low maintenance, energy efficient and bushfire-resistant family home.”

But one of the most important questions Helen ask is “what’s your budget?” as this always drives her response to the brief. “

Having this initial discussion will not only help foster a terrific working relationship, it will also increase the chances that you will get a home that’s perfect for your family and lifestyle.

“Be open to ideas that may challenge you”

It’s unlikely that all your initial design ideas will make it to the finished project. A designer and architect will often ask you to consider alternatives that coincide with your current circumstances, budget and long-term goals. It’s important to be open to suggested changes, as they are made in your best interests. For example, Helen often recommends Hebel over other building materials her clients have initially considered.

“The acoustic properties of Hebel are outstanding and we build a lot in bushfire prone areas. This is always a front-and-centre issue for my projects, so Hebel is a fantastic choice in ensuring we’re meeting all the requirements there,” Helen said.

Lastly, Helen recommends that clients immerse themselves in the experience and enjoy it. It’s not every day that you get to build your dream home.


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