Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

How to Pick an Architect

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

How to Pick an Architect

Article excerpt

Byline: Carolyn Boyd

CHOOSING an architect is a bit like choosing a life partner. Without the dating.

It's a weird sort of set up. You meet them once, or maybe twice, and then sign up to having them spend a pretty penny on your behalf. At least you get to live in the results, and hopefully they will be beautiful.

Since moving into our house two months ago we've had a conga line of tradies, architects, hot water people, curtain hawkers and general handymen traipse through.

That's what you get for buying an old place.

It's exciting on one hand.

On the other it's leaving me with a slight headache and a racing heart from the panic of watching the bank balance diminish, and the lingering question of: C[pounds sterling]Are the choices we're making now actually good, and will we be happy with them in a few years?C[yen]

Of course, the house was quite liveable and could have been left as is, especially after the initial peeling back of the 60-year-old wallpaper and riddance of the acres of lace curtains and soft green paint.

But humans are creators. We like to fiddle. We just can't help ourselves. It's like a primary urge within us.

As an agent told me this week, it's a bit like a dog marking its territory. Crass? Yes. True? Probably yes as well.

Today's challenge is clearing out the back corner of overgrown trees to fit the biggest water tank that we can. All 37,000 litres of it.

Sounds big but it's not actually large enough to supply a whole house all year.

We'd die of thirst midway through summer if we had to rely upon it solely, so the plan is to plumb it to the house and fit a pump that switches back to mains water supply when the tank level drops low enough.

The bank balance might be giving me a headache at night, but today it's the roar of the chainsaws and the thunder of the tree chipper. But I'm sure the remaining trees will be happy that they'll now get a decent drink when water restrictions inevitably crank up again once we're out of this rainy weather pattern.

But back to choosing architects, or other suppliers.

You're often told you should get at least three quotes. …

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