Can AI Replace Humans for Home Renovation Design?

Artificial Intelligence powered robot being used to draw home renovation plans

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is starting to shake-up many industries, with creative professions in the crosshairs of the disruption.

There are already a number of mobile apps aimed at home renovation design that tout themselves as being ‘powered by AI’.

We explain why human home designers and architects are still essential when it comes to any major renovation that involves more than just a new kitchen, bathroom or coat of paint.

How AI Currently Works

AI systems work by taking in large amounts of data and then using machine learning algorithms to look at the common patterns in that data. These systems respond to ‘prompts’ (generally questions) to produce answers based on such a large data set that it can find the ‘best’ (or at least most common) solution.

The more publicly accessible AI systems like ‘ChatGPT’ tend to find their data by ‘scraping’ publicly available sources, for example, the internet.

The more data these systems consume, the more they can learn, and the better the quality of their output.

How Could This Apply to Home Design?

In theory, an AI system could ingest all the home design plans available on the internet (via Real Estate sites) to work out an ideal layout for, say, a three-bedroom home of a certain size.

However, right now the more detailed plans that are used for major renovations aren’t as publicly available.

Even if they were, along with the plans themselves and the previous layouts of homes, the AI systems would have to be fed the reasoning behind the design decisions being made.

And, the question remains, would that still be enough information to produce great results?

No Two Situations the Same

Major renovations to your home – be they a new extension, adding a new storey, or a completely new layout – are big undertakings, with the desired result being a home that is now perfectly suited for the family living there.

Designing a renovation requires a deep understanding of the homeowner’s lifestyle, tastes, aspirations and cultural background.

An experienced human designer gets to know their client, the specific ‘pain points’ of their current home, and their wants and needs for their renovated home.

In a cosmopolitan city like Sydney, they also have to be sympathetic to different cultural nuances, and how the family dynamics may impact the future use of that home.

Your Home’s Unique Qualities

Added to the above, the positioning of a home in relation to its immediate surroundings may suggest specific solutions that, for example, take advantage of a fantastic view only available by adding a second storey.

Your home might have been built in a specific era and contain period design features that are sought after and worth preserving.

Other Constraints

AI will also struggle to incorporate an understanding of local building codes, planning laws and the specific planning process of your Local Council.

Anticipating the potential issues that can arise in the Development Application process, or even being aware and able to suggest ways that a renovation might be designed to take advantage of the fast-tracked ‘Complying Development’ option, can save weeks if not months.

In Sydney, where Council processes can vary considerably, having the local knowledge and experience to pre-empt any difficulties is vital.

Anticipating Potential Problems

Renovating an older Sydney home may uncover unexpected challenges like hidden structural issues, or have to take into account logistical factors, like problematic access to your site, again things that an AI system is likely to overlook.

Experienced human designers will use their knowledge of similar projects in your area to anticipate and incorporate solutions to these issues so that they don’t become problems, minimising the potential for costly delays.

In Conclusion

Artificial Intelligence will continue to advance and streamline many aspects of our lives, but right now it will struggle to replace the nuanced expertise, local knowledge, creativity, problem anticipation and solving ability that an experienced human designer will bring to major home renovation projects.

Whilst AI might eventually supplement and help human designers, we humans will continue to play an irreplaceable role in creating spaces that truly reflect and enhance the lives of homeowners, producing the homes of our dreams.

Looking to Renovate?

With more than 2,000 projects completed since 1980, Addbuild is Sydney’s leading home additions and extensions builder, offering a ‘concept-to-completion‘ service that includes experienced renovation design and the management of your Development Application.

We pride ourselves on helping Sydney homeowners turn the home they love into their forever dream home.

Call our office on (02) 8765 1555 or send us a message using our contact form if outside of office hours.

If you are still in the research phase, looking for ideas and advice, feel free to delve into our comprehensive suite of articles about all aspects of renovating, or download our free “Consumer Guide to Home Improvement“.