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At one point or another in any remodel chances are you’re going to ask what seems like a basic question with a surprisingly unclear answer: “Do I need an architect to get this thing done?”
Having an architect or designer guide your home improvement project would be a no-brainer if you had access unlimited resources. There’s no real downside to having a professional designer take a look at your specific space if you’ve got the means to pay for it.
But, for those on a tighter budget, hiring such a professional could be a tougher call.
First and foremost, consider the extent of your work and if it requires architectural assistance to be completed properly. If you are planning on changing the physical structure or layout of a room, it’s advisable to do so under the direction of a professional. This same logic applies to functional additions or plumbing alterations in bathrooms.
Depending on your residential codes, any work that goes beyond basic cosmetic changes may require a permit, in which case you may also have to submit plans drafted by an architect or designer. Similarly, if you are obtaining a loan from a bank, they may also want to see plans.
Nevertheless, an architect or designer can listen to your worries and assess your home to meet any need you have. Architects are trained in ergonomics, design, and engineering. They know all there is to materials, costs, and building codes. In the end, their attention to detail, from the use of light and color to materials, is unmatchable.
An architect’s level of involvement is entirely negotiable and dependent on the specific project you have and the type of project manager you are. Architects can do as little as providing a standalone service like drafting plans and as much as fully managing each step of construction. So, if you’d like to be more hands off in the process, hiring an architect could be the answer.
The important similarity between designers and architects is that they’re both trained to make informed aesthetic decisions to optimize your space and lifestyle. Their role is to combine functionality with style, to invent creative solutions to problems from dealing with limited space to maintaining a budget.
The biggest difference between the two is their education and licensing, with architects generally having to complete more in order to meet industry standards. In contrast, designers do not have to be licensed in order to work in most states.
Fees can be negotiated to be flat or by the hour, ranging from $50-$150 depending on experience. Although going down this route may seem to have a higher price tag upfront, working with a professional can save you expenses in the long haul. They can ultimately help clients by anticipating certain problems, lowering the number of change orders, keeping clear of code violations, and purchasing correct materials. Simply having a professional of this caliber involved in your project all but guarantees a neater finished product.