Architect client testimonials: What do our clients say about Michelle Walker Architects?
We recently asked our current clients for their help in providing their perspective on the benefits of working with an architect and in particular MWa.
We are architects, not marketers, and sometimes its hard to see the forest for the trees.
We can naval gaze and use architect speak, but what do our clients say?
Reece & Amanda, Cammeray, end 2021
“We’re so pleased to have used MWA for our interior renovation. It really took away the ‘pain’ and uncertainty of planning and executing what appeared to be a relatively simple procedure but the reality was a more complex task at hand. This is where Michelle and her colleagues step in with their experience.
The design was always sympathetic to our Federation home, and in making stylish yet practical adjustments. MWA also had many great suggestions for suppliers and design options, along with invaluable guidance on decision making.
Michelle and Danielle were so lovely and easy to work with, and good communicators with prompt response times.
We love our new home, and are grateful for what it gives us every day – a joy to live in!
Maggie in Wahroonga, end 2020
“Every time when people asked me about my on-going big renovation and extension project, they were so surprised why I was relaxed and stress-free. I told them that how wonderful Michelle Walker Architects helped me. I had recommended Michelle to my friends and neighbours and now to you.
My house is in a conservation area and it was old and un-functional. Many people told me it will be difficult to make change in conservation area plus in Ku-ring-gai council plus I speak English as second language. I was hesitating either improving my house or giving up until first meeting with Michelle. All the fears were dispelled as she is so thoughtful, creative, attentive and professional.
Michelle and the team helped me step by step, from initial sketch design, DA approval, documentation to service during construction. I must highlight following excellent services and supports Michelle Walker Architects provided me:
- Smart design to create a huge outdoor covered entertainment space, upstairs add 2 bedrooms. All new parts perfectly match the old house external style.
- Modern classic styled internal design, functional approach to suit up-to-date living.
- Help to get DA approval extremely quickly.
- Recommended professional and reliable consultants.
- Recommend dependable builder who runs the project smoothly and on time, definitely no trouble at all.
- Recommend extraordinary suppliers to help buying scheduled items.
- Great service during construction.
- Achieved all effect, timing and budget goals in every stage.
I am delighted to recommend Michelle Walker Architects to anyone who need architecture direction to build your dream home.”
每当有人问起我正在进行的改造加建工程时， 他们都很惊讶为什么我很放松和无压力。 我告诉他们Michelle Walker Architects是如何极好地帮助了我。 我已经向朋友和邻居推荐了Michelle, 现在我要把她推荐给你们。
我非常荣幸地推荐Michelle Walker Architects作为你们建设理想家园的设计指引。
Eve & Brad in Fairlight, 2019
“I would recommend Michelle Walker Architects.
We had a very difficult project, making a one story federation house, into a two story federation house. The end product looks very authentic.
We also added a modern big living room at the rear. The house has a lot of character and detailing. Upstairs we have done a period ceiling in the upstairs living room with picture rails. Downstairs we have a high north facing window to capture the light, while the property is positioned from east to west. The lighting and pelmet in the rear living room also complete the room with polished concrete floor.
We are happy clients.”
Louise & Richard in Allambie, 2020
“Michelle and her team helped us realise our dream home extension, including an outdoor room. We especially love that she convinced us about having more sun/rain protection than we thought we’d need- she was right all along. The result was a practical and designer look extension that we could not have achieved without her guidance and knowledge.
Most importantly, we love using the space – it brings us joy every day.”
Penny in Pymble 2017 (now a repeat client with a new addition & renovation of a new Pymble home in 2022)
“I would recommend, without hesitation, MWa for one key reason above all else – their customer focus and customer service.
Whilst the professional output of MWa was fantastic and clearly all staff knew how to design well and come up with innovative solutions, it was their approach that I found so welcoming.
At all times I was made to feel that it was “my house” with “my design” direction which MWa were then able to interpret and come up with design solutions. Never once did I feel that an architect “who knows better” had hijacked the design and was taking the project in a direction with which I didn’t feel comfortable.
MWa listened to every single thing I ever mentioned, however small or anecdotal, and then months later would present me with a solution that referred back to something I had said to tie it all in.
Additionally, MWa did not make the process feel out of reach to the lay-person. At all times they involved me in the project and explained any concepts or processes with which I was unfamiliar. This gave me the comfort to know that I could ask questions, even silly ones, and seek clarification on any matter. All the MWa staff were a pleasure to work with (and I miss our design sessions terribly!!)”
Matt in Gordon 2017/2018
“My first thoughts are that it has been for us been an incredibly rich and rewarding, and importantly, a very enjoyable journey so far working with MWa to create our dream house. We have loved every second of it and I’m not sure how many renovators can say that!
I would say that the journey has been so enjoyable because we have had the benefit of working with such knowledgeable, personable and dedicated professionals, namely, yourselves.
We did not expect the myriad of issues that come along virtually every step of the way, and having MWa to discuss these issues with and develop a solution that works for all parties has been simply brilliant.
Off the top of my head what has been important to us:
- the ability at anytime to call/email to discuss issues that arise, to guide us through the council process, to refer us to other relevant professionals that you know and trust. For example we would never have found Darren without your network.
- the attention to detail across all areas of the drawings, considering things we simply could not even imagine
- despite the restrictions of the site, heritage etc, being able to use your expertise and vision to create wonderful solution
- the ability to visualise the end result via your 3D capabilities has really helped and
- also the ability to update the drawings as we choose fittings and fixtures
I must say we are very glad we took your advice to continue to work together through the build process, we couldn’t do it without Danielle’s and yourselves guidance buying fittings and making small design changes where required etc. This has been very important to us and really helped take the stress out of choosing so many things and spending so much. And the suggested PC items in your spreadsheet were very helpful.
Overall we cannot highlight enough the benefits of working with an architect, we think it was the best renovation decision we made choosing to work with MWa, I think people who intend to renovate do not realise how an architect’s involvement can transform the experience and end result.
You always hear stories about renovation nightmares but we can honestly say we have loved every step of the journey, even the frustrations from council at times, because we knew we had MWa in our corner to work though the issues and get us there in the end.”
Adelina in Gordon 2017/2018
“Benefits of using Michelle and what I’ve loved about working with her so far are:
- fantastic to have someone so clever with light, space and dimensions – very hard for a mere mortal to conceptualise areas and suitable widths (eg how wide to make a set of stairs, how narrow a corridor is too narrow etc)
- utilisation of every little nook, thinking of where the power points and data points should go etc. She’s thought of everything
- the list of PC items acts as a security blanket/back up plan. Very well considered, well priced, quality items, totally acceptable and a fall back if we didn’t think of our own substitutes in the meantime (ie peace of mind that all the millions of decisions during the build were manageable). Also helped us make sure we had the right figure allowed for things outside the builder’s scope.
- without an architectural spec and drawings, room data sheets that detailed, we couldn’t have had such quality lump sum pricing when we went to market – creates more competition amongst the builders and offers us more confidence that we’ve got the best deal we could.
- goes the extra distance to communicate the ideas – will produce 3Ds so we understand what we’re looking at.
Smooth running of the business:
- certainty and predictability around pricing and timing of those costs right from the beginning and all the way through
- very prompt responses whenever we’ve wanted to contact her/Danielle
- real listening and taking on ideas and sensitivities. She gives really honest feedback and discussion on ideas when talking through the concept design and throughout, takes away thoughts and gives a considered response.”
Tamie & Ben in Artarmon 2018
“MWA have guided me through complex and unchartered waters with regards to building our dream home.
Working as a partnership with MWA has allowed us to end up with plans that are architecturally desirable but deliver on the practical needs of our family and stay true to the character of Ben and I.
The experience has been incredibly seamless, exciting and positively challenging and I have / will continue to recommend MWA because of the partnership experience; the honest communications and the dedication to creating what we (Ben and I) want in our forever home.”
Pete and Rowena in Balgowlah – 2017
“Following the purchase of our Balgowlah home in approx 2012, we contacted local architect Michelle Walker regarding ideas for renovations for kitchen, dining, living, bathroom and outdoor areas.
We were impressed with Michelle’s ideas, subsequent designs which we kept on file for several years.
When we were ready to progress, it was a simple process to re-engage with Michelle. We found Michelle’s office very easy to communicate with, always attentive and timely. Michelle was able to help us with the selection of a builder, recommend fixtures and fittings and always happy to answer queries as the renovations progressed.
The renovations have transformed our home and exceeded our expectations. We highly recommend Michelle Walker architects and look forward to using her business in the future.”
Jane in Mosman 2017 on completion
“Michelle Walker Architects was engaged to assist with the transformation of our home in Mosman – specifically an update to the front door and façade, and the transformation of two dated rear rooms into a functional open plan dining area.
Michelle provided very pragmatic design advice, considering both the local heritage requirements and how we could manage the build through the CDC procedures.
She was also able to recommend excellent builders, who we are also very happy to recommend.
Our renovation has exceeded our expectations – with Michelle’s guidance, we now have a beautiful edgy light filled home, with access and views to our back deck through stunning black steel doors and windows. It has transformed how we live in the space, and it brings us such joy every day returning to our well designed and functional home.”
Tim in Allambie 2017 – a month from completion.
“We are really happy with the look and feel already Michelle. We will have lots of little things to finish off after we move back in, but it will be just what we hoped for.”
Jasmine in Newtown- on an initial consultation 2015
“Thank you for your practical and honest advice. 60 minutes with you saved us weeks (and weeks) of work”.
Simon in Balgowlah – completed 2015
“Michelle Walker architects have been great to deal with. I’m in the construction industry so I’m a tough customer but I have found they offer the perfect mix of listening to the client while still providing new ideas. We felt that our needs were certainly met but more than that, they were interpreted creatively and provided innovative solutions as well as presenting new ideas to us.
Best of all there is no ego – just a total willingness to provide what you need and realise your vision.
Issues are looked at holistically and for us this means comfort knowing our house will not only be beautiful, it will provide the function our family needs.
The turnaround is also quick, they work with you and at your pace so if you need things fast, they are delivered fast.”
Edwina in Freshwater – completed 2014
“Working with Michelle Walker was great, she translated our ideas into workable solutions. We had been researching our renovation for over a year and had lots of strong ideas about what we wanted from our home.
Michelle and her team really listened to what we wanted and helped facilitate our ideas – but beyond that, they developed new concepts and we ended up with a lot of new features that we had never thought of. We decided to increase the scale of our renovation once we got started.
Renovations are such a huge investment financially and emotionally, and Michelle Walker architects gets that.”
John in Fairlight – completed 2014
“Dealing with Michelle Walker and her team was a very enjoyable experience. Not only are they professional and helpful, they are great at what they do and really listen to what you want. I had total confidence the end result would be wonderful.
I was so comfortable with how the works were going that I went on an overseas holiday for a month while construction took place, knowing they would look after everything.
I really could not have asked for anything more.”
Vanessa in Manly – completed 2014 (repeat client in 2016)
“Michelle Walker architects came up with a wonderful sympathetic design for my beachside home in Manly. With clever use of space and design, she managed to fit in all my room requirements but still accommodated council conservation heritage and DA constraints. I would highly recommend her services.”
Diane in Mosman – completed 2014 (repeat client in 2016)
“Michelle Walker architects were recommended by our builder and were great to deal with. They renovated our 30 year old home with a complete update to modernise it and make it more family-oriented, with significant work internally and externally.
The end result is a modern and functional home that we love.
Standouts for us were that they really listened to what we wanted to achieve and developed ideas that were creative and practical. Michelle Walker was like a breath of fresh air to deal with, very down-to-earth, approachable and enthusiastic about our home”.
Nick & Emma in Paddington 2013
“One of the best things Michelle Walker archtiects did for us was provide ways to unite ideas and make them work”
Jodie in Manly and Gwynneville (Wollongong) – repeat client 2008 & 2010
“We loved working with Michelle Walker architects and have done two projects with them now – an extension to a holiday home and a new build for our family home.
A stand out feature is the attention to detail and precision with which everything is done. These projects were very important to us and it was good to be able to have faith that the work was so thorough and everything was considered.
We also had a lot of ideas about what we wanted and we found Michelle Walker had a great way of introducing new ideas that either enhanced what we were thinking of or pointed us in a completely new direction. Her passion really shines through in her work.
The result speak for themselves, we recently sold our holiday house for a price higher than we expected – and all visitors to our family home talk about what a warm and inviting space it is.”
A Builder’s Perspective
Darren Hall, Director / Builder, Pride and Passion pty ltd
“With over 14 yrs working in the construction industry, 6 of which I have managed and run my own residential construction company, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many projects ranging from $100k projects to multi million dollar renovations and new builds. No matter the project there has always been a common theme that heavily affects cost and the overall running of the project which all stem from the planning process.
Whether the client has appointed a draftsman to save money or an Architect has only done half a job, a lack of detailed plans and documentation usually results in variation and extended build times.
Renovating a home is highly technical with every project being unique and every individual aspect affecting the whole. Changing things alongs the way can affect the cost of many other aspects of the project, not just the specific variation so it is very important to stick to the original plan.
When a builder is presented with limited documentation and plans they have no choice but to either inflate their prices to allow for uncertainties or to issue an incomplete quote with a load of exclusions which will certainly lead to unexpected costs throughout the build.
Lack of planning can also lead to unexpected design issues where certain aspects just don’t work in reality the way they have been drawn. This results in delays, extensions in build time and sometimes in serious cases suspension of works while the design issue is being resolved. The client, builder and architect then need to come up with a solution on the fly which can some times compromise the whole project.
For most of my career I believed this was just that the way it was, that these issues were normal.
That was until 2017 when I was given the opportunity to tender a project for Michelle Walker Architects.
Never have I been given a more detailed and completed set of drawing to work with, it was such a breath of fresh air! This meant that I was able to issue a comprehensive and accurate quotation with no exclusions and no inflated allowances.
Contract value was approximately $1m with a build time of 6 months. The project ran like clock work from start to finish with only minor delays due to weather and one unexpected variation relating to excess soil being removed from site during the excavation. This could not have happened without the amazing work Michelle and her team put into the planning of this project.
I believe it is possible for a builder to produce an amazing product on time and on budget. But in order to do that the builder must have a clear vision of the whole project from the beginning. To date, Michelle Walker Architects have been the only architects that have being able to give me that vision and ability to achieve those three very important goals for all construction projects.
As an Architect, their service is the best I have ever worked with in every aspect, I sincerely mean that.
I would be more then happy to take calls and answer any question you may have.”
Pride and Passion pty ltd
0422 268 208