Why Hire an Architect

Before this contract is established, the architect will meet with the client to walk the existing home or the proposed site for the new build. Together, the architect and client explore the project limitations and the client’s needs. Understanding that great communication is essential to custom design, the architect will listen to and respect the client’s project requirements, priorities, design inspiration - likes and dislikes, desired timeframe and budget. All of this information (square footage, renovated kitchen, 2 month timeline, etc.) define the work of scope listed in the contract. The architect is also responsible doing diligent research regarding for all applicable building safety codes and site specific rules, like setbacks, and informing the client.

Every client is different, that’s part of the fun!

One client may want to see different design layout options, visual renderings, or finish combination options. The client wants to make the important decisions, but leave the logistics of getting it built to the architect. Or another client may have it planned out down to the inch, plans to do it all his or herself, and needs it drawn up to get a building permit. We work together to figure out the best path forward for the client.

When you hire an architect directly, the client and architect to agree on a signed contract and scope of work. By doing this, the architect is legally bounded to act as your agent – in your best interest of safety, budget, quality and schedule.

Find the Right Contractor & Navigate Pricing

As the client moves forward with getting pricing from contractors, the architect can assist in this process, with the client’s priorities first. The architect can suggest several respectable construction teams in the area and help the client decide which team is best for their project. The architect will develop a cohesive set of construction drawings and specifications (for example, quality of finishes, price allowances for light fixtures or appliances, and detailed plan and elevation drawings of a new kitchen) for each one to price. One team may have the best price or another team may have the fastest timeline.

The architect, as the owner’s agent, organizes this information and presents a clear comparison so the client can decide the best path forward regarding quality, timeline, and budget.

Once the client decides which contractor to proceed with, the client/owner signs a contract directly with the contractor. The architect and contractor sign separate contracts with the client, so the architect is always bound to act in the best interest of the client during the construction process through completion.

Quality Control during Construction

In the client/architect contract, the client may hire the architect to do site visits on a regular basis to oversee construction. The architect will walk the site with the contractor to make sure the building matches the construction documents and quality and schedule is aligned with the client’s expectations. The architect and contractor work together to make sure the client is happy and satisfied.

Sometimes, a material is running behind, like a countertop, and throwing off the schedule. The architect and contractor work together to fix the schedule and communicate the plan to the client so everyone is happy and on board. Another example could be switching out materials. A material – say switching to a different type of exterior wall siding – may save the client money or time. The architect’s role is to present all the pro’s and con’s of switching the material for the client to make the ultimate decision. It may be more affordable, but not last as long and needs to be replaced in 15 years versus 20.

The architect adds value to the client’s project by thoroughly exploring all design options, materials, and strategies directly with the client over several meetings and clear communication. This includes on site walk throughs, material boards, and high quality computer renderings. After the client approves decisions, the architect develops a cohesive and clear set of construction documents to get the best pricing and for quality control with the consultants and construction team. The architect also oversees the job site and works directly with the contractor to avoid any miscommunication errors or onsite errors.

By having an architect as the client’s agent, the architect and designer will add value to the project.

Ultimately, the architect, consultants, and construction team want the client to be more than satisfied with the home. That’s why they chose to be in this profession. We work together because it feels great to create beautiful spaces that are uniquely yours.

Architecture is the background to which you live and love your life. Make it feel good. Make it beautiful.