Undercover Architect

How did the Undercover Architect journey start?


 Amelia Lee tells Deborah why she started Undercover Architect

In addition to being an experienced architect and renovator, Amelia is a wife and mother to three children. Seeking to balance work with family life, she knew she could use her personal and professional experience to help homeowners with their renovation projects. She especially wanted to help women, who she feels can struggle to feel ‘listened to’ by tradespeople and be afraid to make important decisions during the process. She hopes that her website will help women become more informed, confident and in control during the project.

Deborah asks Amelia what the biggest challenges are for women during a renovation. She describes some of them as:

  • “We don’t know what we don’t know” – despite all the information available, it’s still difficult to know where to start and who to listen to.
  • Struggling to ask questions because they don’t want to look foolish
  • Scared that they will be ‘taken for a ride’ and misinformed
  • That they don’t know how to have those difficult conversations with builders or tradespeople when problems crop up

She explains that although people can plan their renovation for years, problems arise when there is no real structure to their process. Commonly, when the decision to start the renovation is made, people want it to start immediately. Often they haven’t laid the groundwork to get an overall picture considering issues like

  • How long it will take?
  • How much will it cost?
  • How do you explain exactly what you want?

Amelia emphasizes that renovating and building is not one big decision, it’s a series of smaller sequential decisions. If you are only ever looking at the next step in the process you won’t be ready for the timeframe gaps or extra costs that can crop up due to lack of a plan and lack of control. In the end, this can cause a massive blow out to your renovation budget.

 About Amelia Lee – Undercover Architect

Amelia Lee is the architect behind Undercover Architect. Undercover Architect operates mainly online to help homeowners (especially women) design and plan their future new homes and renovations. Think of it as your secret ally in getting it right, and saving time, money and stress – whoever you’re working with to create or transform your home.

Watch more from our interview with Amelia:

How do you select the right architect?

Do I need a project manager for my renovation?

Should you move in before renovating or renovate before you move in?

We ask Amelia Lee: How do you select the right builder?

Cutting costs. What are Amelia Lee’s non-negotiables?

How to balance your champagne tastes with a beer budget

How to preplan your joinery needs for your renovation

How to ask the right questions so you’re on the front foot with your builders and architects

How do I know if I am being taken for a ride?

Undercover Architect project cheat sheet

What makes for a good project experience vs. a bad one?

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