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AnneY

Rebuilding ? Architect Vs Builder Vs Designer

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The builders I contacted with so far haven't BCA license ,and no recommend from their previous clients. I'm not sure if I can trust them,so I turn to get a architect. Do you have builder to recommend ? thanks.

There are a few builders that I had researched on and each has his strengths, including my current builder. There are also builders recommended in this forum that you can search for quotes.

If you want to use the services of my builder, better for you to pm me your hp and email so that I can share his strengths and weaknesses with you privately. Not so nice to share builders' weaknesses in open forum. My email is leechaorui@gmail.com

 

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There are a few builders that I had researched on and each has his strengths, including my current builder. There are also builders recommended in this forum that you can search for quotes.

If you want to use the services of my builder, better for you to pm me your hp and email so that I can share his strengths and weaknesses with you privately. Not so nice to share builders' weaknesses in open forum. My email is leechaorui@gmail.com

thank you very much.

 

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HI Goodluck, for your reference, my architect's fee is 40K (his name is found in the Board of Arch) , PE 12K, QS 2.5K. And this is for reconstruction of a semi-d land size 3600, 2 levels, 5 bedrooms +family room, and swimming pool. So I think it is possible for get one for under 70K.

Edited by AnneY
 

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Have PM you. For construction contract (including PS sums), mine works out to be in the range $165 psf of GFA (including open terrace, car porch), but this is not an accurate assessment of building cost based on my observation. Mine will be well below $150 psf range if i did not have a swimming pool. It depends on (a) how much foundation structure you are redoing, the type of foundation needed due to soil condition (piling or pad footing) (b) any sewer line running across your property © do you want an attic, are you redoing the roof structure - major items like this. For a semi-d of land 3800 sq ft, a few architects i spoke to said you need a total budget starting 800-900K (for reconstruction) and at least 50% more if it is a new erection (ie demolish everything and start from scratch). The total budget includes the construction cost plus PS sums set aside for aircon, sinks, taps, wc, electrical, lighting, built-in cabinets, door handles, autogate etc but excludes furniture. My PS sums are 30% of total budget - this is the portion you have discretion on how much to spend for the quality you want.

Edited by AnneY
 

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Have PM you. For construction contract (including PS sums), mine works out to be in the range $165 psf of GFA (including open terrace, car porch), but this is not an accurate assessment of building cost based on my observation. Mine will be well below $150 psf range if i did not have a swimming pool. It depends on (a) how much foundation structure you are redoing, the type of foundation needed due to soil condition (piling or pad footing) (b) any sewer line running across your property © do you want an attic, are you redoing the roof structure - major items like this. For a semi-d of land 3800 sq ft, a few architects i spoke to said you need a total budget starting 800-900K (for reconstruction) and at least 50% more if it is a new erection (ie demolish everything and start from scratch). The total budget includes the construction cost plus PS sums set aside for aircon, sinks, taps, wc, electrical, lighting, built-in cabinets, door handles, autogate etc but excludes furniture. My PS sums are 30% of total budget - this is the portion you have discretion on how much to spend for the quality you want.

Sorry, may i know whats the difference between new erection and reconstruction? i thought both are start from scratch?

 

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Sorry, may i know whats the difference between new erection and reconstruction? i thought both are start from scratch?

New Erection is start from scratch.

Reconstruction is like an extensive A&A, it reuses some of the existing structure. You can read about it in this URA document.

http://www.corenet.gov.sg/Corenet/einfo/Circulars/HTMLandPDF/URA_2005090501.PDF

A&A does not require architect and no need for TOP/CSC.

Edited by AnneY
 

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Sorry, may i know whats the difference between new erection and reconstruction? i thought both are start from scratch?

Erection requires bomb shelter, reconstruction doesn't need. Even if you tear down the entire place until flat and pile, leave 2 pillars at the corner standing also can be counted as reconstruction.

Architect, PE, URA, BCA cost for erection will also be higher than Reconstruction

 

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Sorry, may i know whats the difference between new erection and reconstruction? i thought both are start from scratch?

Hi Siaw8,

This is what I extracted from the URA website. The term erection and redevelopment is used interchangeably.

Reconstruction" refers to a situation where:

- The proposed increased in the gross floor area (GFA) of your property exceeds 50% of the existing GFA (for example, adding a 2nd storey to a single-storey building); or

- The external walls of the building are removed and replaced with new walls (notwithstanding that the proposed increase in gross floor area does not exceed 50% of the existing GFA)

"Redevelopment" refers to a situation where the entire building is demolished and a new building erected. In the case of "redevelopment", among other technical requirements, you have to comply with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) requirement to provide a bomb shelter. You may wish to visit the SCDF website at www.scdf.gov.sg for more details on the bomb shelter requirement.

I think by and large, after the house has been constructed, you can't tell the difference between reconstruction or redeveloped. One thing I noticed about redevelopment is you can do deep piling while reconstruction typically involve only doing the footing for the house foundation. When you do deep piling and put in strong materials, I think you could increase the loading to your house. This could potentially open up more possibilities to the house design.

 

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Thanks so much.

It seems like reconstruction and new erection are pretty similar.

In any case, who will decide if its a reconstruction or new erection? My architect told me that the soil in my place is quite hard and could probably do with footing. In that case, it do sound abit like reconstruction. Reason that i am asking is because i would like to do away with the need to build a bombshelter which i feel is totally unnecesary.

 

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Hi Siaw8,

This is what I extracted from the URA website. The term erection and redevelopment is used interchangeably.

Reconstruction" refers to a situation where:

- The proposed increased in the gross floor area (GFA) of your property exceeds 50% of the existing GFA (for example, adding a 2nd storey to a single-storey building); or

- The external walls of the building are removed and replaced with new walls (notwithstanding that the proposed increase in gross floor area does not exceed 50% of the existing GFA)

"Redevelopment" refers to a situation where the entire building is demolished and a new building erected. In the case of "redevelopment", among other technical requirements, you have to comply with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) requirement to provide a bomb shelter. You may wish to visit the SCDF website at www.scdf.gov.sg for more details on the bomb shelter requirement.

I think by and large, after the house has been constructed, you can't tell the difference between reconstruction or redeveloped. One thing I noticed about redevelopment is you can do deep piling while reconstruction typically involve only doing the footing for the house foundation. When you do deep piling and put in strong materials, I think you could increase the loading to your house. This could potentially open up more possibilities to the house design.

no lah, reconstruction also can do piling. My neighbor did piling, tore down the entire house left 2 pillars at the side standing, pile and from 2storey become 3.5 storey, siam the bomb shelter, also consider reconstruction. Very clever, contractor bought for 1.2-1.4M now want to sell 3.80-4.08M. If you are free u can drive down and take a look, their recent completed project is right opposite (big grey semi D beside Grand Hotel)

http://www.propertyguru.com.sg/listing/5126112/for-sale-karikal-lane

end of the day, depends on how smart your architect is when he prepare the proposals. Got money of coz can pile, no money then do footing loh. When i did my house under reconstruction, i was also given the option to pile but i'm poor

Edited by pantieileen
 

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Erection starts from scratch, but reconstruction doesn't. Reconstruction consists of major structoral works that go beyond the 50% for A&A (as pointed out by others above). Depending on your requirements and budget, the professionals you hire can advise on this as they will make the submission on your behalf.

For new erections, apart from the bomb shelter requirement, all the current setbacks will apply too. For reconstruction, if there are existing structures within the setback area, you can keep them. Eg, if setback from the front is 7.5m, but existing structure has a 2nd level balcony within this 7.5m. For reconstruction, you can keep this balcony. For new erection, you cannot build a new balcony in this place. What you'll probably end up with is just the roof for your car porch. This is quite common. Go around estates and you'll see older buildings with balconies over the car porch, and newer buildings with a roof only over the car porch. Some don't see this as much of a loss because in place of the balcony that is accessible via the master bedroom only, they will build upwards - have a third storey and a roof terrace, which can be bigger than the original balcony, and can be accessed from a common area instead of through a bedroom.

A new erection, in allowing a free hand in design, also allows you to raise your ceiling height. Some find this factor important too.

 

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Thanks so much.

It seems like reconstruction and new erection are pretty similar.

In any case, who will decide if its a reconstruction or new erection? My architect told me that the soil in my place is quite hard and could probably do with footing. In that case, it do sound abit like reconstruction. Reason that i am asking is because i would like to do away with the need to build a bombshelter which i feel is totally unnecesary.

I think there are cost advantage in doing just footing and there are also cons to it in terms of quality of structure. After the house is built, generally people can't tell the difference between reconstruction or redevelopment. Even those who do A&A and have a clever design, can have an end product that looks like a new development. In general, those who do reconstruction tend to just do footing. I think if they were to do deep piling, the few pillars or walls that are preserved for reconstruction cases may collapse during the piling process. Like what pantieileen said, homeowners can still do piling but I think it is kind of difficult to protect the few pillars standing around. I was informed that the architect will have a lot to explain if those walls and pillars that are supposed to be preserved for reconstruction cases are "accidentally torn down". Hence, I guess most would try for footing instead of piling.

As for home shelter, I last heard that the authorities are clamping down on homeowners who try to avoid building home shelter through the reconstruction route. Was told that it is harder to get the approval for waiver to build home shelter because the government is trying to plug this gap. I supposed clever architects can still come up with creative solutions and design to meet homeonwers needs.

Cheers!

 

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Hi all,

This is an interesting topic to hear from the ground how owners feel about their selection of professional to rebuild their house since i am personally working in the industry.

I think i must first compliment AnneY for the very detailed information she had compiled and i will like to add my humble views to the list.

1. Interior Designer

In the consumer market, owners need to be very careful to differentiate by themselves who are the ID Consultant and who are the Interior Contractor.

ID consultant are normally your project designer. He spends huge amount of time talking to you on the existing and new space that you want and dream to build. But take note, he will charge you only for his design and project management fees. In certain cases, where owners want the same ID consultant to take full responsibility to build the project, he might sometimes handle Design & Build project in collaboration with his preferred builder. In such situation, Design rules over simplistic building. Interior Contractor mainly offer Design & Build service with his integrated ID design (free). However, since the ID designer works for him, Cheapest construction rules over design. An example, ID specified 20mm thk ply with laminated finish for the customised bookshelves. ID Contractor will instruct his staff to go for 12mm thk instead. Glass material will be another important area to take note. Pricing between TEMPERED GLASS and TEMPERED LAMINATED GLASS is much difference.

Also, ID consultant design lots of your space planning and customised carpentry, loose furnitures and styling up your house. These are the area of scopes you might be paying him for. (from as low as 20k excluding PE and submission and building)

Project Suitability: A&A Landed, Condo, HDB

Pros: Provides holistic service, design orientated, prudent to listening (better customer service)

Cons: Design & project management fee is additional to your construction and PE fees.

2. Builder

Owner choosing Builder first, usually has their particular reasons - 100% trust, or 100% most compeititive. However, this selection neglected the most priority needs of the owner - the space he is building. Also, many a times, builder does not provide design drawings which are critical for owners to study, digest and comment before the start of construction. They will recommend you to their preferred PE for submission (normally not design). After some chasing, builder might roped in part-time or freelance designer to give some design input for owners. However, this situation also leads to many design changes and possibiliy of Variation Order (V.O.) which are charged as additional work to the contract. Thus, i suggest that owner who want to choose builder first, must have very strong dictation in his construction design and able to provide simple construction drawings for the builder.

Project Suitability: A&A Landed, Condo, HDB

Pros: Provides direct construction solution, practical budget

Cons: Non-Design orientated, V.O. possibility, additional PE fees, compromise on quality specification.

3. Architect

Yes, i think choosing an architect is the most expensive way (or not?). LOL. Sometimes, i heard from friends in some "sign-off" architect firm complaining how their owners might proceed with legal procedure to start suing everyone in the project. That is probably the most expensive way.

As much as no one want to start suing anyone, we also must understand that engaging an architect does not guaranteed problem-free construction.

That is the same to the appointment of the previous 2 professions. However, owners always get this assurance that once they engaged architect, they are safe. So, they choose the cheapest "sign-off" architect. But we pay peanut, we get monkeys.

Generally, no one in singapore can call themselves "Architect" unless they are registered under the BOARD OF ARCHITECTS. And going by the SIA Standard Contract, architects are recommended to charge for a professional fee of 10%. (usually can be negotiate, depending on your budget size).

So, what make Architects so expensive? That is because they will become the voice (coordinator) for the project on behalf of the client and handle all coordination between all parties during the construction and still being responsible to the building design certified by him after hand-over. Thus, this is where the money pays most to.

Building a house from existing building and from scratch requires deep studying of the ground. So, with the architect on board, design proposal will be finalised within 3mths.

next will be the engagement of the PE, M&E and the QS to ensure continuity of the technical coordination to the approved design (not more than 2mths). The earlier they are engaged, the earlier the tender drawings will be ready.

Note that SOIL INVESTIGATION may needed to be done on-site as recommended and process supervised by the PE. This is done by 3rd party specialist. With the investigation done, PE will advise architect and owner on the type of foundation needed. Piling will be expensive approach. Foot foundation is usual practice. So, PE must be able to calculate and confirmed that the right foundation is designed for the intended LOADING for the architectural design.

Transparent Tender process starts by the architect inviting 2-3 builders and the owners also inviting 2-3 builders. This is to be sure that the architect is not "pushing" the price up for the tender that will result in his higher professional fee. After tender closed, QS and Architect will open the tender documents to reveal the tender prices from each tenderers. The result will allow the QS, Arch, PE, M&E to determine if there is any "under declare" pricing in their respective scopes of works. Then, listing down their needed questions for the tenderers, a tender interview will be called. The successful tenderers will be interview by everyone including the owner. During the interview, the doubtful questions will be asked and jotted down on record. After tender interview, Tenderers will be asked to review and revise their prices. Results will have to be replied within 2-4wks.

In meanwhile, architect firm will have already gotten URA "Written Permission" (this allows the project to start on-site with a "permit to commence work" applicable by the PE). Architect must before the start of building structures above ground gotten BCA BP approval.

By this time on the schedule, usually 6-8mths from engagement date, Owner is expected to make payment at Design Sign-Off, URA WP stage, BCA BP approval stage, and Appointed Successful Tenderer. Till this date, the architect will likely be paid up to 60% of his professional fee. So do take note on your financial planning, because some owners were caught off-guard and needed to liquidate his investment to fund the construction and realised that he needed to delay construction to allow time for his fund to come in.

All in all, you might be paying already 100-200k for these professionals working on your house for the next 18mths.

Project Suitability: A&A Landed, New Erection, Re-development.

Pros: Provides full coordination of the project, transparent project management, Design orientated (not including ID works)

Cons: Costly professional fees, less customer service for interior spaces design

----

Conclusion,

There is no right or wrong approach. You will not know which approach suit your comfort level till you make the approach. But as a practical rule of thumb, my individual opinion will be as below.

Project Size and Budget Recommendation : Less than 100k - Builder

Less than 300K - Builder or ID Consultant

More than 300k - Architect

More than 500k - Architect & ID Consultant

More than 1million - PLEASE PM ME...LOL

 

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Hi all,

Thank you for all the information given.

But looking for a one solution builder is the best of all...

5 years back we look for Architect firm building my house but if going to on site we found alot of problem with builder and architect firm.

Some of the design really cannot be done by builder or contractor. This time round we work with the builder previous build our house before i choose to engage with their service we had also look around for their builder company.

Thanks god that we turn back to our very first builder, he have given us alot of advise and solution that their builder cant even answer us and keep telling us they checking the probelm with URA BCA.

we will go for experience builder with schedule and project management.

Spencer

 

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