When taking on a remodel, addition, or new construction project, many owners are unsure where to begin. Often times, the first step that the owner takes is to call a builder to get a quote for the work. The builder may then ask if the owner has a design for them to bid and build from. If the answer is ‘no’, this is where the architect comes into the picture. An architect can provide a wide range of services to their clients including space planning and design, code research and compliance, energy efficient construction, material selection, permitting, bid negotiation, and construction observation among many others.
At first glance at the architect’s fees, it may feel like you are paying a lot for just a few plans and visit to the building department. Instead, you are paying for years of training, expertise, and experience for an architect to help bring your vision into reality. The time spent working with the architect may also help you to avoid expensive mistakes during construction by working out the kinks through design, layout, and detail on paper prior to starting construction. Over the course of the design process, the architect and owner will pore over the design in painstaking detail until the drawings contain enough information for the builder to take the plans and build the project. During the design process, the architect will help with suggesting materials and construction methods that may suit your budget or help with ideas for creating an energy efficient home which can save thousands over the years. The design costs of roughly 5-18% of construction costs are a relatively small percentage compared to the added value that good design can achieve. A beautiful, creatively designed space alone will maintain premium value for the long term.