Before you decide to hire an architect, you might ask yourself: WHY do I even need an architect?
We like to say that design has value; I'll go so far to say that there is value in an architect, too.
Architects are creative, have a great deal of technical expertise, and can bring ideas to a project that might not have otherwise been considered. Architects are planners and problem solvers - it is through their education and experience that they can anticipate errors in a design or unforeseen conditions that may arise. This insight can save a client a lot of headaches, heartache, and money.
Architects know how to prepare a detailed set of drawings that will help eliminate errors during construction. Architects are also there through the bidding or contract negotiation phase in addition to the construction administration, making sure that the project gets completed per the provided drawings.
The architect is a client's best advocate, always keeping the client's best interest in mind. Every project has a set budget that must be maintained - an architect ensures that the client is getting what they are paying for. Communication with the contractor is key to ensuring a project is on-time and in-budget. When an architect communicates with the contractor before bidding, it can allow for more options or alternatives that the client can choose from, thus getting the best value for their project.
An architect thinks about a project not just from conception to completion, but its lifespan. A design not only needs to work throughout the four seasons, but to do so year after year continuously. Understanding sustainable and passive building layouts that are ideal for sun paths and angles is critical; an architect thoroughly thinks through these ideas. They are up-to-date on the latest energy-efficient products and understand the wide range of materials that are available.
Architects listen to what a client wants and can take their vision to a code-compliant reality. They are required to be knowledgeable about the latest code requirement and are familiar with the permitting process. Most architects have relationships with their local city's building department; these great relationships lead to a healthy review of a project during the early design phase to anticipate any red flags, thus eliminating any issues in the permitting process.
Not only are architects team players with contractors and building officials, but they build a skilled team of professional consultants that they typically have an established working relationship with (some of our consultants have worked on 30+ projects with us). The coordination of this complex process results in a holistic, complete set construction documents that incorporate all disciplines of the architecture field.