When Should You Hire an Architect?

The short answer: We get it, we’ll save you, we look good.

The long answer:


There are times when you need an architect and times that you don’t. An architect becomes a must when stamped permit documents or drawings are required. If you’re planning on moving interior walls, making any additions, or doing any ground-up construction, going with a licensed architect is a no-brainer.

So beyond all that legal stuff, what’s an architect going to do for you?

We get it.

A good architect understands the design and construction process, and more importantly they understand their clients’ needs.

The last thing you want to hear with a half-done remodel is that you’re already over budget, the contractor has bailed, and you are getting slapped with a stop work order because you don’t have the right permit. This process can be tricky maze, and there’s no shame in having a good tour guide!

A good architect will ask a lot of questions about your life, work, habits, and needs up front to ensure a design that suits your lifestyle. This said, make sure to choose a trustworthy architect who makes you feel comfortable, you’ll be sharing a lot with them.

We’ll save you.

Using an architect can save you time, money and headaches.

Making changes on paper is a thousand times easier and less expensive than moving things around once they are constructed- and avoiding changes during construction is one of the best ways to save time. Seeing your design in 3d before it is built is an amazing resource that can reduce changes during the building phase.

There are numerous studies showing that architectural fees are often offset by the higher selling price of architect-designed properties. Of course there are many pieces to this puzzle, but in our design-minded society, architecture can distinguish your property. In addition, architects are knowledgeable about money-saving material and construction options, and can even recommend reasonably priced contractors that do quality work.

Working with a well-organized professional will make the experience of building or reviving your space more enjoyable and less stressful… basically you know that someone has your back!

We look good.

You may not know exactly why you love or hate a certain room, but your architect sure does.

An architect can take a dull space (or even an ugly one) and turn it into beautiful, functional, well designed space. And, it will be a unique space you can call your own. Be sure to work with an architect that has a strong portfolio who respects your values. If you respect the environment, find an architect with a strong environmental approach. If you value high design but have a modest budget, find an architect who has solved this problem for others before.

Anytime you’re planning a remodel beyond the basic “paint + furniture”, you should consider talking to an architect. There is some gray area where you are not legally required to hire one, but where it would greatly improve your project.

For example, say it’s time to redo your roof. If you’re just replacing the shingles or roofing material, a good roofing contractor is probably the right answer. But if ‘redo’ means changing the roofline (and therefore the look of the entire home!), adding skylights, or installing a green roof, you would want to talk to an architect to see the ‘big picture’.

Keep in mind that a firm that also offers interiors services can save you the hassle of coordinating two separate teams. Architects are about making your life easier and your life better. Once you decide if you should hire one, you can start getting into all the fun details of what you should do.

But that’s a blog for another day.

And those are our 2 points