Do You Need an Architect for your Home Remodel Project?
Updated: Mar 6, 2019
From the inception of planning a home remodel project it can feel like a bombardment of information is needed all at once. One of the most crucial questions that becomes apparent is, if you will be required to hire an architect? If it’s a sizable project with heavy figures and design requirements, the answer will typically be, yes. Otherwise a good general contractor is presumably all you will need. Here are some of the main points to recognize when evaluating this decision.
Your Architect will develop your space to best suit the way you will occupy it. With the help of an architect, you can be assured you’ll be designing the most optimized layout to make the most of your living space. They’ll ask questions to determine what your remodeling outcome goals are, so they can ensure those goals will be met. Some of the type of questions they will ask, “do you like to entertain guests often? or “would you like your teenage kids to be able to hang out at your place?” The answers help create a design solution that fits your lifestyle now and for the future. Your family and day-to-day life may look very different 5 – 10+ years from now, and you want your home to be appealing and functional by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or life status. An architect is aware of this and will work with you to ensure that your home is capable of handling changes, and that the space can adapt to whatever life brings.
Any changes in structure will be executed with safety. Fundamental rule: Never reconfigure structures without the input of an engineer or architect. Safety is certainly the most important factor whenever you’re having serious changes done to a home. Architects are licensed by the state and have the experience and knowledge to protect the safety of the public.
Your Scope of Work will probably be MUCH more inclusive and detailed. In remodeling, the biggest drawback is when specific details are lacking. It is crucial to list out every detail of what you want, or else, it may not be included in your contract price. A competent architect understands this, and they know how to literally specify the scope of work down to the last “light switch”. They also recognize what is required in every element of the project, and they’ll confirm it’s all included in your contract. For example, while you may refer to the task of putting in a new door as, “install door,” your architect might say, “create the opening to these dimensions, install the fire-rated door using these specifications, and then patch-up, plaster the surrounding area, and paint.” Architects are also familiar to a wide range of products for the home, and they have access to catalogs and samples to present to you. This will help conserve a tremendous amount of time and effort.
Your Architect can help you source a Contractor and evaluate bids. Usually architects will suggest contractors they’ve worked with before, ensuring that the companies you’re getting bids from, have been assessed and recommended. Your architect can also help you compare bids. They’ll provide each contractor with the spec sheet, construction drawings, and the full scope of work. They will review any materials that are being substituted for those they specified, and they’ll help you identify if the substitute items match the grade of quality and performance you insist on. Also, being that the architect has the technical knowledge to define your project with such an extent of detail, the bids you are presented with are presumably going to be comparative and qualified.
Your Architect can manage the design elements and oversee your Contractor throughout the project. You can be relieved of one of the main difficulties – managing your project, including scheduling when contractors get paid for work that’s been completed. Some architects are qualified to do management tasks and effectively supervise the project, so if something were to go off track, they will be there to advise and assist to bring things back on schedule and budget.