What is the Role of an Architect in Building a House?

As a homeowner, it is sometimes difficult to know whom you need to hire to get your project done. One of the many professionals you will need during the duration of your project is an architect. This article will cover the role of an architect in the home building process.

Who is an Architect?

The architect is the person who uses a mix of creativity and accountability to assist you in making your vision come to fruition. Architects are required to have a degree from an accredited university, complete an internship, and obtain a license from the state. They work in architectural firms or consulting firms that have a team of development professionals. Some architects are self-employed.

How can an architect help with building a house?

Since architects have an expansive knowledge of building systems and the characteristics of building materials, they educate themselves on what a homeowner might not know before presenting the ideas they have for their home design. The client should notify the architect of the intended budget, both the minimum and maximum. Also, the client should present their essentials, meaning design elements that they must have on their future home. The architect balances the expectations of the client and the reality of the costs for their dream home. Licensed architects are aware of the local regulations and building codes and mold the design to suit the requirements, ensuring quicker approvals. A California licensed architect will know how to handle certain standards for home building within the state. Some of the standards an architect will be aware of include:

  • Fire Codes
  • Drainage Requirements
  • Landscaping requirements
  • Building codes

This definitely comes in handy for a homeowner who may be from out-of-state and may not be aware of all the regulatory nitty-gritty.

When you are in the market for building your new home, an architect can walk you through the process. Essentially, an architect will sit down with you for a consultation to go over what you want to build. They will then be able to provide an artistic development of the home and identify the constructability of the design that you envision. Architects’ role is also to select building materials and provide renderings and computer aided drawings (CAD) for a client to visually see their conceptual home design on paper. During this step of the home building process, a client can go through a number of iterations of design with the architect. They will push their limits of creativity to truly capture the ideals the client wants to incorporate into their home design. Since architects have an ethical responsibility to design safe and healthy structures, they will bring that expertise to the design.

The Role of a Home-Architect

Architects have a professional network that they may use in the design phase. Typically, when an issue appears that an architect does not have the ability to fix, they will look to other professionals for its resolution. This could include onboarding a geotechnical engineer, structural engineer, or other professionals to assist in creating a constructible home design. During the construction phase, an architect takes on more of a project management role. This could include the following:

  • Assessing contractor work
  • Looking into the cost of the building materials
  • Ensuring the project is within budget

When there is a design change or an unresolvable issue, the architect is there to make the necessary revisions without compromising the design aesthetics. The role of the architect is of great importance. There are some aspects of developing a property a homeowner may not be well-versed in. These are some of those aspects that an architect will be able to help identify:

  • Knowing the physical limitations of the property
  • Understanding market value for the design
  • Creating unique designs to work around a renovation project or a constrained site.
  • Providing an honest outlook on the client’s desired land
    • This can include telling a homeowner to work with a different site or to change the scale of the home
  • Communicating with all the necessary individuals that play a role in building the home.

The architect and their team of drafters are responsible for the design drawings that are reviewed by the local jurisdiction in the home building process. The jurisdiction will check for scale and visual properties regarding the home, and this is the main reason an architect will be involved in developing the construction plan. Aside from the design drawings, they are consulted by a project manager or an engineer to provide the project’s final cost estimation. This cost estimate is a means for detailing the quantity, cost, and unit of materials, and procurement of equipment. The architect has to provide precise information on the plans in order to have a realistic cost estimate and also be available for design changes.

After the design phase, the next step is to onboard a contractor to build the home. Architects can assist in finding a contractor and manage the contract. Furthermore, architects can assist in providing a maintenance program for the home. This includes the design materials and landscape. The landscape may be a great creative segment to the home while functioning as pollutant control in addition to being best management practices (BMPs) for stormwater. These are design factors the architect will be able to guide you along during building and later maintaining.


Keep in mind that an architect covers the role of assisting in your home building process to the extent you want. The architect is knowledgeable about finding building materials that will get you within your budget. They have a network of other land development professionals, as mentioned above. Architects can walk you through the feasibility of your home design and even manage your expectations of the project. This may include the budget, the characteristics of the property and the materials, and the timing of certain construction activities. As a homeowner, you want to be able to trust the professional and not have to learn a new trade yourself to get the job done. Our team can assist you with your building needs. We have licensed architects available to get started with your project today. Contact us at (877) 675-9828 for a consultation and a free quote.

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