Working with an Architect:
While some residential and most commercial projects require the services of an Architect, most smaller residential projects do not, but working with an Architect can prove to be a great value, which can more than offset the upfront cost for their services.
A licensed Architect brings a required background including an Architecture Degree (5+ years of intensive architecture study), 3-5 years of practice under a licensed Architect, and a rigorous battery of tests. At a minimum, you directly benefit from this experience and qualified knowledge when hiring an Architect.
The value an Architect can provide to the project depends on the project and selected Architect, but generally includes the following:
Design Definition: an Architect will provide comprehensive drawings precisely documenting a design so you can know what to expect at completion of construction.
Project Cost: Although architectural fees represent an upfront cost that may not seem necessary, by clearly defining the scope there will be less need for expensive change orders during the construction process. This lowers overall costs, limits unexpected cost increases during construction, and helps to keep the project on schedule. An experienced Architect can also help you manage the scope of your project to fit your budget from the beginning.
Planning and Building Codes: An experienced architect has a thorough knowledge of the building and zoning codes, and other regulations that inform your project and can take these into account from the beginning to avoid delays in permitting and redesigns later in the design process or after construction has started.
Quality of Project: The experience, qualifications, and the practiced design process work to ensure you end up with the best possible design solution for your project.