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When Should You Hire an Architect?

When Should You Hire an Architect?

Today’s post is guest-written by architect Matt Falco.

 

There have been times when I have turned down a project. Mainly, due to it not being the right fit for my services. Not every building project needs architectural services, and I only want to take on jobs that are going to be a success for me and for my clients. Now, let me say that it’s ALWAYS a good idea to consult an architect first, before moving forward with your project. Though some municipalities require an architect for any building project, here is a list of projects that may or may not be a good fit:

 

Minor Building Repairs

If you are fixing a roof or replacing siding, you may not always need an architect. Especially, if you’re not trying to solve a design problem or look for alternative building materials.

 

Garages, Decks and Sheds

If you’re not looking to build somekind of innovative garage, deck or shed, it’s probably just fine for the contractor to design and build. If the design isn’t full-blown custom, there are plenty of off-the-shelf designs that can be tailored to your project.

 

I need it done tomorrow.

Here is another category where it might be too late for an architect to give any good suggestions. And, this is my most popular inquiry. If you are looking to do any kind of design project, you need time to design. Not a few hours, or days…  The best service an architect can provide you is to TRY TO SOLVE A DESIGN PROBLEM. If there is not enough time, a good solution may not be achieved.

 

Complex Projects

When you are thinking about a complex house addition or any commercial building project, you should be working with an architect. We are problem solvers. What is the hardest thing for an Owner to do? Let the architect solve the problem! It’s natural, but it can be really difficult for an Owner to let go. My best clients are the ones that let me do my job.

 

Budget Led Projects

If your project has a very limited budget, it would be a good idea to get an architect involved early. Going through the predesign process, solving design problems in the initial design phase, then working with the Owner to get competitive prices can really help define the project’s scope and ultimately, the budget.

 

Consult an architect as you are starting a project. And, ask them if they have ever turned away work!

Rachel Richardson

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