Hiring an Architect for your Next Project
Deciding to build or remodel your home? Few people understand the complications involved in building and that alone is why it is better to hire a professional. A licensed architect or engineer , is specifically trained in the planning and design of a building. Whether you are looking to remodel, add on to an existing floor plan, or simply building from the ground up either professional can help through the entire design and construction process. The main difference when deciding to hire an architect or engineer, is that the architect will focus more on the artistry, layout of the space, and design of a building, whereas the engineer focuses more on the structural elements and technical components. Since there are several stages to home building, utilizing the expertise of an engineer or architect before you get started, will ultimately save the homeowner both time and money.
Design and Development
The first stage of building involves deciding what you actually want to build. This is when an architect can spend the most valuable amount of time with a client. It is during the deciding stage, that the homeowner can express both their wants and needs while the architect informs of what is actually attainable in the space based on current code requirements. This is the time to discuss requirements for a project like number of bedrooms, functional layouts, and how a room will be utilized. During this phase, is also when the timeframe and budget for a project will be determined.
Once the client and architect agree to move forward with a finalized floorplan, rough sketches will be drawn up to help visualize the project in what is known as the schematic design. The intention of these early sketches or sometimes computer models, are to make sure the clients’ needs are satisfied and allow for any necessary changes to be made.
This leads to the refining stage of the building process, also known as the design development phase, in which the drawings are more specific and technical. Specific details to room size and materials selected are generally computerized at this point. If finalized, the detailed construction blue prints can now be produced for the builder. If the owner of the property does not already have a builder, it is at this time that the architect or engineer can offer recommendations.
It is important to work with your architect when hiring the builder for your project. The architect will be the one to submit the construction documents to the contractor. They can also help in sourcing the right contractor for the project based on experience, cost and quality. During the final stage of construction, the architect can act as a construction contract administration and ensure the builder is interpreting the design plans properly.
Complications of Building
In any design and building process complications can arise. Errors are more likely to occur though when someone lacks the experience and professionalism needed in construction. By utilizing a licensed architect or engineer, clients will be able to plan ahead and have detailed ideas before the building process begins. Architects are trained to solve problems in a creative way. Since most residential projects begin with a want or need to change a space, a professional can use their knowledge of design and construction to provide solutions you may not come up with on your own.
More so, only professionals are skilled at handling the unexpected obstacles of building codes, zoning laws and design options. In fact, many zoning codes require homeowners to submit plans with a licensed architect’s stamp before even beginning work. Hiring a professional will help to reduce design errors, improve communication with contractors, and ensure budget and scheduling accuracy.
Cost of Hiring an Architect or Engineer
An often misunderstood concept is that an engineer or architect will be an added cost to building. However, it is in fact the opposite, as hiring a professional is an investment for your project. By using the expertise of an engineer or architect, a project can be built more efficiently and economically since the homeowner’s vision can evolve on paper rather than during the building process. They also will work diligently with your budget and select materials and builders within your price point. More importantly a well-designed home will have a higher-resale value if and when the client chooses to sell.
While each professional will charge differently for their services, it is important to remember that there are no set cost when it comes to building. The type of project, amount of time and services needed will influence pricing. Some projects may be suitable for an hourly rate, while others will charge a fixed fee or percentage of construction cost. It is essential that you discuss with the architect or engineer prior to hiring them, how they will establish the rate of your project and make sure it fits within your allotted budget. Once you have found the right engineer or architect, a contract including all details of services, schedule, and compensation, must be signed and agreed upon by all parties involved.
Benefits of Hiring an Architect or Engineer
There are an immeasurable amount of benefits to hiring a licensed engineer or architect for your residential property. Not only do they take the time to gain an understanding of the clients’ needs in a home, but they can provide a creative outlook to developing a space for the homeowner’s lifestyle. This helps to avoid design errors later in the project and helps to solve any problems that may arise during the construction phase.
Although the architect or engineer may guide the homeowner, it is up to the homeowner to select the options presented and make a decision. Architects, specifically, attempt to utilize planning, research and strategies to minimize some of the known issues that can arise related to cost and space. They also provide assistance in choosing materials and finishes that fit within a client’s budget.
It is important to take the time to interview with several architects or engineers to guarantee your specific needs will be met. Each professional has their own design and style methods, so it’s important to find one that fits your own unique style needs. Interviewing will give you an opportunity to meet and source the right person for the design results of your project. Hiring a qualified team can help make the homeowner’s life easier as building is a long and complex process. Here at Design Everest we can help, please contact us at 877-704-5687.
*Note: The content published above was made in collaboration with members of Design Everest.
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