I know it sounds strange to say, but when you hire an architect you will save money. Whether you are building a new home, renovating an existing home, or doing an addition, a well-trained architect will make the process work better, help you make wise selections, and walk you through the process.
How does this happen? Well an architect is trained through years of education in school and then trains under a licensed architect as an intern upon graduation before they can qualify to take the Architectural Registration Examination. This training gives the architect a full understanding of the design, construction, documentation, and contractual processes involved in building. Some architects are experts at Hospitals, others for schools, then there are those that focus on understanding building systems and processes. This experience will help your projects from beginning to end. Architects are trained to listen to your wants, needs, to evaluate your style so that it can be effectively incorporated into the design of your home or business. They know what questions to ask in order to draw out the elements of the design that will keep you on track and produce a solution that adapts to your needs rather than you adapting to poor solutions.
The builder or contractor is also equally important and should be selected very carefully. This is another place that an architect can guide you. They understand the builders in the area and know their strengths and weaknesses and can help you select one that will be the best fit for your project. The architect sees the big picture and is able to help you form the right team for your project. They understand that a broad knowledge and skilled team is important for the success of any project and finding the team members that can work effectively will again save you time and money. The right contractor for the project understands your building system, material availability, subcontractor quality, and scheduling. All of these skills are required for the project to be efficient and cost-effective.
An architect with an understanding of building science, materials, construction process, and contracts is the best first step in getting the maximum value out of any project. If your project has a tight budget and you need to be as efficient as possible, the last thing you should cut from the budget is a good planning and design phase. After all, if you “just hire a contractor” who in the process is looking out for your best interest?