Why Hire An Architect?
Jan Gilmore Loftis,
Executive Director for AIA
Few people realize how complicated it is to build — that is until they find themselves lost in the maze of design options, building codes, zoning laws, contractors, and so on. No two building projects are exactly alike, so there is no single, clear-cut path to follow.
The architect is the one professional who has the education, training, experience, and vision to guide you through the entire design and construction process, from helping you define what you want to build to helping you get the most for your construction dollar.
Architects see the big picture. They don't just design four walls and a roof — they create total environments, interiors and exteriors, that satisfy functional needs and are exciting, dynamic spaces in which to work and live.
Whether you are remodeling, adding on, or building from scratch, the architect can guide the way. Working with contractors and other construction professionals, architects can help you end up with a well-designed project that meets your needs and works with your budget and time frame.
The Architect Solves Problems
Most building projects start with a want or need. "I need more file space in my office." Or, "We've outgrown our house." But how does that need or want get translated into square feet and three-dimensional space?
That is what architects are trained to do — solve problems in creative ways. With their broad knowledge of design and construction, architects can show you alternatives and options you might never think of on your own.
Need more room for your growing family? An architect can show you how to enlarge your home so you don't have to move. Not sure how fast your business is going to grow? An architect can design an office that meets your needs today and can be adapted for tomorrow. Have a limited budget? The architect looks for ways to make your project cost effective.
The Architect Can Save You Money
The architect's services are a wise investment for the money, not an added cost to your project. Why?
Because a well-conceived project can be built more efficiently and economically. Architects plan your project with you. As your ideas evolve, changes can be made on paper — much less expensively than later on when construction is underway. Thorough drawings also make it easier for the contractor to accurately price and build your project.
Because energy efficient buildings can save you money on fuel bills down the road. An architect can design a building to maximize heating from the sun and let in natural light, thus reducing your heating, cooling, and electric bills over time.
Because the architect can work with your budget and help you select the appropriate materials and workmanship at a fair price. Architects develop the drawings and specifications to help you get bids for construction that are based on your requirements.
Because an architect can help you choose materials and finishes that are durable as well as beautiful, saving on frequent maintenance and replacement costs. Architects work to stay abreast of advances in roofing, brick work, floor tiling, paint finishes, etc. Their familiarity with the full range of materials enables them to suggest the appropriate materials for your project.
Because good design sells. A well-designed house has a higher resale value. A well-designed store draws customers. A well-designed work environment attracts employees and increases productivity.
The Architect Can Make Your Life Easier
Let's face it, building is a long process that is often messy and disruptive, particularly if you are living or working in the space under construction. The architect you hire looks out for your interests and tries to find ways to make that process go smoothly.
If your project requires engineering or other design services, the architect can coordinate this team of experts so you don't have to. The architect sorts out complex building codes and zoning laws. The architect can help you find qualified construction contractors based on your requirements. The architect visits the construction site to help verify that the project is being built according to plans and specifications.