Our project was to build our new home on a vacant block in Cottesloe and we had spoken to several architects. The thought of a project design and build contract even passed through our minds.
We were about to make a decision when by chance we were speaking with friends who had just built with John Lewis. They suggested we speak with him before going any further. We did and after an initial meeting with John we decided he was the architect for us.
He explained the benefits of using the services of an architect and not to be fooled by the apparent “extra” cost up front as at the end of the day the combination of an independent architect and builder appointed through a selective tender process would end up costing about the same (or possibly less) than an upper market ‘design and construct’ builder, but with a superior outcome in terms of design, practicality and use of space.
We decided to retain John and were soon reassured we had made the right decision as he was very attentive to our brief and details even down to any significant items of furniture we wanted to keep in order to accommodate them in the design.
Through ongoing consultation with us, he designed a delightfully modern, attractive and practical home and during the process:
- Listened to and took on board our wishes;
- Guided us (sometimes persuasively) where his architectural and building experience indicated we were not on the right track;
- Completed very detailed construction drawings rather than relying on long specifications seldom read by builders and subbies;
- Worked through the approval process with a difficult Council;
- Ran the tender process and recommended qualified builders in addition to our choices;
- Assisted with selection of finishes, best suited building products, colour schemes, lighting and so on;
And he always responded promptly to any of our queries or concerns as the building progressed; and did all of the above with good humour and in a deceptively relaxed manner.
Our whole design and building process went virtually without a hitch. The end result exceeded our expectations. We are now convinced that John's independent architect / builder combination was the right approach for us and we would not build a home any other way. Thanks for your efforts and guidance during 2016/2017 John, and for a great end result.