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1.4 from 28 reviews

Design report worthless

We recently ordered a design report through Archicentre. The Architect came to the house took a look around and measured the rooms etc. Four weeks later came up with a design that was so far removed what we asked for. We have wasted $2700.00 on this process. We have only had good experiences with Archicentre in the past but this time we have been left very disappointed.

Archicentre Cost Guide 2017 unrealistically low - beware!

Relying on resources like Archicentre's cost guide, we were lulled in to the belief that we could do a modest, minimally specced, double story addition (about 5 x 8m below and 4 x 8.5m above) within our budget of $4000 / m2. Adding Archicentre maximum recommendations for a kitchen, bathrooms and euro laundry, we were still within budget. So nearly two years and $50,000 down the track (architect, planning, engineering) we finally went to tender and 4 different builders have came back at $8,000/m2, $10,000/m2 if wet areas included.

Misleading and waste of money

They reviewed a house I subsequently purchased. Report stated good condition about $10k of minor repairs.
subsequently I find major repairs and have spent well over $100k and still going. Problems include serious water leaks damp windows missing stumps and foundations etc etc.

Do not know who to recommend but not these people.

False and Misleading

Totally concur with reviews by nrd4 and mrh in this forum - I too am selling a property and a potential buyer used Archicentre for their building and Pest inspection. Massively overpriced service from the Buyers perspective, and the report contained false and misleading information, including unsubstantiated accusations of illegal building (when my renovation works were undertaken by qualified builders backed by the necessary building and council inspections and certificates). Numerous false, inaccurate, exaggerated, and subjective comments that bear little or no relation to fact, and are actually contradicted by elements of the properties section 32 report.

End result - the buyer withdrew and Archicentre make a cool $1500 for a couple hours 'work' and no ongoing liability! seems best result for Archicentre on a building inspection is for the buyer to rescind - they take their money and run.
Buyers and Sellers Beware - do not use this service!

Overpriced, poor service & no people skills

Worst experience with an architect yet. Highly overpriced cookie cutter service (design feasibility report) that offers very little value.
Appointed architect did not follow our brief and delivered a sketch design focussing on his "design ideals" rather than on what we wanted, after weeks of waiting. His design did not even include half the rooms we specified as he assumed we could not afford them without even asking us. And this was after we briefed Archicentre that we did not have a budget and were flexible! Complaints raised inadequately addressed by Archicentre - their Superiority complex is unhelpful and dismissive and assumes everyone else is stupid and inexperienced. They were unable to properly deliver a tailor made approach and for $2500 this is unacceptable.
After reading other reviews I feel I am being too kind. Stay away. Pay attention to the reviews. I wish I had read them before using Archicentre Australia. Money is better spent on a design drafts person or builder's design service. Or give your family and friends or charity extra Xmas presents instead.

Not a rose whether a rose by another name.

So Archicentre goes into voluntary liquidation. Conveniently Sept 2016 a few days before a 2nd
VCAT hearing, obviously cancelled as now I'm litigating against the insurers. But the owners haven't gone into bankruptcy have they? So you an architect have bought the 'good name. Changing it to Archicentre Australia.
GOOD NAME..a failed building inspection on a prepurchase Feb 2015 ..roof leaking in multiple places and the floors and other areas totally termite damaged. Scope of works $285,000 to rectify. Plus costs. My home is uninhabitable so I'm living in my investment property, paying 2 mortgages, legal fees etc. Life has become unmanageable. In June 2017 I was forced to retire to access my super..I turn 65 Feb 2018. I could have continued my career as a Registered Nurse and accessed my super. You have no idea how you have damaged my life nor do you care as business goes on. I am raising a 10yo boy and purchased the property to build a self contained unit for his father who suffers from ABI and ankolising spondolysis. The liquidation is a farce a means of evading compensating claimants.
Well VCAT in the morning only one day as adjorned as Archicentres prime witness decided to take a holiday!!
All I can say is stay away from this company.
Read other reviews. Who would buy this company for its good name..really you can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time.
No reward for this review.
Buyer beware avoid this company.
I just don't want anyone to be exploited and financially ruined by Arcicentre as I have been. There is no mediation, as past archicentre is in liquidation it's the insurers you fight and by the way your excess is $100,000 of which you may get 47cents in the dollar returned but not guaranteed, plus they don't mediate, they wear you down hold "Boys club legal mediation. You remain ladylike, shocked that the legal profession can treat you with such harassment and undignified behaviour. It's a game to them, sharks just doing their job!
Don't go near ARHICENTRE.

Rude and Superior

Any person looking for a builder or buildingg review stay the hell away from these guys. They charge you an arm and a leg, rub it in your face that they're smarter than you when it comes to building and phone service team have ZERO people skills.

Terrible. Would give them a 0 if I could.

Very poor service, inaccurate and false

I am the seller of a renovated home that is nearing completion. The house has been advertised for sale prior to completion so that prospective purchasers could save on some stamp duty. The house was inspected and a report given. claims were made including, excessive moisture under the subfloor, an interesting claim given the inspector did not venture under the house. excessive moisture under the deck, well ummm der decks are meant to be permeable and water then seeps naturally into the soil. Claim that the roof is dirty, i dont get how that is a fault, it has just been installed. Claims that the building was done illegally, when in fact building permits were in granted as is building insurance. Claims that water is running from neighbor yet nowhere is it visible.
Claims that the roofing material was sourced from china, when the plumbing certificate clearly states made in Australia and the appropriate standard. As a result of misinformation the purchasers decided to rescid.

i know that archcenter are paid to find faults how about doing it with accuracy and integrity.

We were buying a house and I remember specifically asking to check for asbestos and damp.

Not long after we bought house had to have major work done on bathroom there was a leak that had been occuring for a long time. We turned out to have an asbestos gas unit in our hall closet. Major fail archicentre.

Don't use them.

I agree with all the negative reviews. The company takes no responsibility and have no interest in discussing something when it goes wrong. Don't use them!


I used Archicentre in December for pest and building reports, [name removed] was very helpful and did everything to make sure I was happy.

Extremely thorough pre purchase inspection.

I engaged Archicentre to look at a property that I intended to bid for at auction. The inspector was extremely knowledgeable and experienced in his suggestions (some cracking and moisture penetration along one wall), and narrated a good story as to how that would likely affect the timber structure in the future, and the likely costs involved. I understand that he cant specify exact costs because that involves obtaining several quotes from different builders, and each builder does things slightly differently using different products etc, but his estimates were pretty close.
I later engaged him to do a feasibility study for an extension on the house, which required council permits and the like, and I found the cost and results to be more than reasonable.
He fitted me in with his other clients over the next few weeks, and we are now shopping for a builder to carry out the work.

R.Difram. Melbourne East.

1 comment
Thank you for your feedback, I trust that your renovations will be hassle free and on their completion meet your expectation. Michael, Archicentre

Waste Of Money And Time, Now With A Serious Structural Fault To Rectify

The inspector failed to detect bowed load bearing wall of garage as a result of excessive retained soil around the perimeter and wall being only 2 bricks wide (breach of code), clearly visible at time of inspection (2 engineers picked it up within minutes). Now facing $50k+ in repairs which will not add any capital improvement but will hopefully stop our bedroom (above the garage) from collapsing. Seeking legal advice as it is a disgrace. Archicentre when contacted indicated extreme weather conditions were likely responsible, however they failed to acknowledge the breach of building code. Next time we will employ structural engineers. Do not go near this company!!

Very helpful inspection

I have had a lot of cracking in my house, I had an architect from archicentre come out and do an inspection. He was very professional and knowledgable. I would recommend archicentre for all structural inspections if you really want answers.

Very disappointing and inaccurate report

I am the owner of a property which is for sale, a prospective buyer asked for a property inspection prior to making an offer. They engaged the services of Archicentre. The inspector stated to his client that there was major structural problems with part of the building which would require very expensive repairs. The inspector quoted that the work would cost around $100,000.oo to repair.

As a result of this report I engaged an HIA registered builder to give me a quote to fix these reported problems. I am glad I did, amazingly he could not find or see the identified problems stated by Archicentre. He did find one problem which he quoted at approx. $1200.00. I am not impressed with this company as they have caused a lot of unnecessary worry and sleepless nights. Be wary read the comments by many others and make your own decision.

Very disappointing

Our experience with Archicentre was largely a waste of money. Shop around with local architects - most will spend a couple of hours chatting with you on site for free and you can choose one that really "gets" what you want to achieve. We engaged Archicentre to provide an initial consult then concept sketches. The architect assigned to us was a nice enough fellow. His sketches, however, were two weeks overdue when he admitted that he hadn't even started on the concepts yet. A few days later we received a set of sketches that were in many instances unresolved and contrary to our discussions. We pressed the fellow to spend more time thinking about his ideas (one example: kitchen cabinets that overlapped a window). He agreed to meet with us to explain his (boring, pedestrian and unresolved) ideas but charged us $150 cash to ask a question about extending a bedroom wall because we had not raised the issue previously. His proposal and costing to develop working drawings for us was unusually prompt, significantly more expensive than he'd suggested in his original meeting with us, and included an extra $1000 to resolve the concept sketches - that's on top of the approx. $3000 already paid to Archicentre. Long story short, while it took the Archicentre fellow 2.5 weeks to respond to our questions about his quote, we met with numerous local architects and have selected one whose pricing is good, promptness excellent and professionalism to a high standard - all the things which Archicentre was not. We are disappointed to say that we do not recommend Archicentre services.

1 comment
It's disappointing to read about the experience you had! Can you please contact me direct on 03 8620 3907 to discuss this further. Thanks Justin

Don't waste your money and don't bother complaining

We engaged Archicentre to perform both a building and pest inspection on a property we were considering buying, and paid over $1000 to do so. After the encouraging and positive feedback we received, we bought the house. Over the course of the next 2 years, and within the first few weeks following settlement and moving in, we discovered numerous significant faults with our home. These issues varied from a leaking roof (10 or more leaks), blocked drains (concrete wash), power points without wiring behind them, incorrectly installed electrical equipment and hydronic heating, superficially patched plasterwork, incorrectly installed skylights, inadequate and poorly designed roof drainage, hazardously slippery floor tiles (one family member has smashed their face and needed emergency dental work), inadequate hot water to the rear of the property, hazardous material dumped in the soil, a family of possums living in the roof, and more. We approached Archicentre on numerous occasions and they were NOT interested in our experience. Archicentre were only interested in covering their backs.
Our advice is to ask friends who are builders or architects to have a look for you. Don't use Archicentre. They are worse than useless.
Nothing. Can I give them half a star?
Everything - see above

1 comment
Sorry to hear about this, can you please contact me direct on 03 8620 3907 so we can discuss this further. Thanks Justin

Do not use the Concept Design Service

My experience with Archicentre's Concept Design Service, is that it is a total waste of time and money. You should note that the service delivers one short visit by an Architect, they then go away (4 to 6 weeks) and then deliver a Feasibility Report, a concept Plan and a Elevation view, and that is it. To bad if the architect didn't ask the right questions and possibly didn't even listen to your actual requirements, that is just bad luck, that's what the service delivers. A one shot, take it or leave it design service.
And in my case, the wrong Architect was sent, with no real experience with what I had specifically requested.

That is just not good enough and not what one expects.
None, with this service
Too many to mention here

1 comment
Sorry you felt this way about the service, it was the first Design complaint we had received in over 8 months. Least we came to an agreement in the end, and I wish you all the best with your project. Thanks Justin

No real guarantee, missed significant problems

I'm a little surprised to see I'm giving these guys their best review yet with only "bad", not "terrible", as I chose them because I thought they had a good reputation generally. My experience with a pre-purchase inspection was perhaps not as bad as others described on this website, but they still failed to identify significant issues that have caused a great deal of stress, time and money sorting out over the year and a half since. The most important were leaking from the roof and around several windows that the inspector failed to notice. The water damage was first pointed out to us by a builder and a painter that we had through to quote on some renovations approximately a month after the inspector had been through. There were at least 5 different locations around the property that had obvious water staining, and little rain in the intervening month. When our builder got on the roof, he came down saying it was in a shocking state and should never have passed an inspection, and gave us a list of about 10 problems including basic things like gaps that needed caulking and screws missing in the parapets.

To his credit, the Archicentre inspector was good enough to come back and have another look. He agreed that there were water stains but denied they were there when he first came. He got up on the roof again and decided that the water was probably coming from the parapet walls. This was good to know, but too late as the sale had already gone through. He estimated maybe $10000 worth of repairs might be required. While this is small in comparison to the total cost of the house, it's still a fair bit of money for first-home buyers to have to pay, unexpectedly, especially after being told there was nothing significant wrong by a professional inspector. As it was a new property only a little over a year old, other friends told us that we may be able to get the builder to fix it under warranty. We therefore requested that the inspector amend his report to include the problems he had now found, but he refused. His original report contains general statements about how a roof should be constructed, but doesn’t mention anything specifically wrong with ours (perhaps we were meant to read between the lines). Overall, the roof is described as “generally sound”, and it’s not listed as a major problem in the report summary. There was no comment at all on the windows.

Archicentre's customer service department were fairly rude and arrogant when contacted. They were dismissive and unsympathetic to our situation, now stuck with a house requiring significant repairs that they had advised had no major problems. We were told these were problems with “workmanship” and therefore not covered by their report (citing Australian Standard AS4349.1-2007), and that the damage was “not evident on the day”. I find it hard to believe that all the water damage in 5 separate locations only became apparent in the intervening month (given that it had likely been leaking for more than a year since construction), but of course it's impossible to prove. Certainly the shoddy construction of the roof would have been evident on the day. I have checked the Australian Standard and there is no specific exclusion of workmanship. Surely if the workmanship is so poor that the roof and windows are not waterproof, that’s something a prospective buyer would want to know about. Water damage can be potentially serious leading to structural problems with the frame in the long term, not to mention mould through the ceilings and walls.

All I was requesting as compensation was a new report to assist us going forward, which didn’t seem too unreasonable a resolution. I found it very frustrating that they were so aggressive in dismissing my concerns and refusing to help. I wasn’t even trying to hold them liable for the cost of repairs, just requesting that the inspector put in writing what he now thought the problems were after a second look. Their advertising is clearly misleading, especially to people new to the process, including statements such as “An Archicentre pre-purchase Property Inspection Report gives you peace of mind, reduces risk and can save you thousands!”. In our case, they failed on all three of these points. They seem very well rehearsed with a range of excuses and exclusions if something is missed, and won’t accept any responsibility (just try claiming on their “structural guarantee”).

Get a builder not an architect to do your pre-purchase inspection is my advice!
Inspector agreed to come back for a second look, but wouldn't change his report
Misleading advertising, no real reassurance or guarantee, missed water damage, arrogant customer service, expensive

1 comment
Afternoon Ray, sorry to hear about this. Please contact me direct on 03 8620 3907 so we can discuss this further. Thanks Justin

Dont waste your Money!!!

We have bought a home in Dec 2012 and as inexperienced people in property market. We contacted Archicenter , through their highly qualified, renowned and experienced team of professionals, offering a comprehensive report covering a 200 points check upon inspection of all the accessible parts of the property as in website. We were provided with a written report, in which it was clearly stated that the property did not display any major defects nor serious structural defects. But it have a bit of dampness smell in the ground floor. It was recommended as small drainage issues in person and can be fixed up by a plumber on spending up to $2k. As soon as we settled and moved into the house the advice and contacted a plumbers to inspect the rear and lower floor of the house. All tradesmen came in and checked the property basement through the manhole had same answer.

That there were many issues concerning the state of the property. No single tradesman wanted to take the job on board as they stated that it would take a coordinated effort and many tradespeople to rectify the multitude of problems inherent to the state of the property. During the autumn and winter rainfall experienced in the past year, by accessing the man hole underneath the stair-case we noticed that water seeped in and deposited itself underneath the ground floor. Based on this evidence, it can be established that Archicentre failed in ascertaining that there were major problems with the structural integrity of the property. Such a qualified specialist would have further investigated into the possible causes of such extensive dampness. They would certainly have taken the time to access the easily accessible man hole underneath the staircase and taken note of the fact that the wooden beams were recently changed and taken into consideration the deteriorated condition of the concrete stumps.

They would most definitely have attempted at arriving at a plausible conclusion, not just limited and contended themselves with the observation of dampness in the ground floor and rear of the house.
Tried contacting Archicenter about their promised guarantee of upto $50k. They will then start to transfer your calls through different departments of people explaining and bluffing about the definition of what is Major and Minor defected until you give up. As mentioned by a previous reviewer # if you read the Terms&Conditions , you will see that the guarantee is very shallow and is not automatically given in support of their reports.
Finally after 14months of purchase we found a builder who was willing to take over the job and rectified it for $16000. Thanks to ArchiCenter
Its better to get a builder or induvidual trades men to inspect. They will give a much defined review of the property for as low as 100 bucks each
Review finished in few papers ticking major and minor very easy to read in 2mins
They will on find problems like rusting locks and broken switchs in toilets, Which a comman person with some sence can understand.

I'm Justin the National Manger of consumer services for Archicentre. Can you please contact me on 03 8620 3907 to discuss this further. Justin we have discussed this further out of your service as a customer service consultant and directed to projects director on 12 Jun 2013 at 2:30pm. Please refer your records, follow up to it and get back to me. Thanks

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Questions & Answers

Has anyone taken legal action against Archicentre for failing to adequately conduct their inspections and resulting in purchasing a property with MAJOR issues?
3 answers
I don't know, but I wish someone would. Please note my issue was a design service not an inspection service (Note, I did get a full refund, after a detailed written Complaint). But I've also heard many complaints about this too. Please note that Archicentre are now trading under Ask an Architect, so be careful not to get sucked in with the new name, the same people are behind the name.I wouldn't advise anyone to take legal action against Archicentre. As a company, they have covered themselves legally extremely well - probably the only place they actually work hard :(((( Their customer service is appalling and almost negligible. Don't expect any empathy from them when things go wrong as you will be sorely disappointed!!!!! When we had to get our inspection re-done through other inspectors (due to the shoddy service they provided on the basis of which we bought a property) we have been told that Archicentre is a repeat offender and they have heard a lot of complaints against the company. If there is any suggestion I could give a prospective buyer, it would be to do their research and get a reputable inspection company to do the job and not Archicentre or Ask an Architect as they are now called. We have been badly burnt and would wish no one has to go through the same agony as we did.Yes they went into voluntary liquidation a few days before my 2nd VCAT heaing. That means the proprietors aren't necessarily bankrupt and can move on with thei finances intact. You are left litigating against insurers. They don't mediate and you are up for $100,000 excess. My buiding pest inspection was pathetic ..roof lesked, floors termite damaged with home inhabitable..all my yrs of hard work down the gurgular whilst Mr/ Mrs Archicentre sip their Dom Peridot

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