Why Hire an Architect?
BLOG: Custom buildings, renovations, and additions, whether residential or commercial, can be complicated and confusing unless you have a tour guide to take you through the process of design options, building codes and zoning laws, cost estimating, finding the right contractor and finally, construction. 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.”1 Let’s face it; any building project is a substantial investment of both finances and time. The architect can help you get the greatest return on your investment. They see the BIG picture. A building is never just a building for the architect; they create a total environment that includes exterior spaces, interior spaces and aesthetics that are both pleasing and functional to the owner, occupants and the public in general.
If you are building a custom home, then you probably want to hire an architect –not only for their expertise–but for the creativity they can bring to the table. Even if you possess great design sense and have your own ideas about what you want built, a seasoned architect will have fresh, innovative design ideas that may elevate your design that will not only be functional, but something outstanding! The architect brings the ‘WOW’ factor to any project! And, if you have no sense of design, then you will definitely benefit from the services of an architect.
An architect is not only your partner in bringing your design ideas to life, but they are so much more: they are your problem solver, your advocate, and your investment adviser. They make your life easier as you travel through the design and construction process, often becoming a trusted friend.
Most building projects start with a want or a need. Spaces are outgrown all the time, whether it’s a home, office space, commercial warehouse, car dealership or multi-family building. Lack of space is the problem; architects solve problems, that’s what they do! They translate your need into tangible square footage offering design alternatives and options that you may never think of on your own.
When you hire an architect, they advocate on your behalf and will always look out for your best interests. They can handle the tough aspects of contract negotiations for you, allowing you to maintain a positive, cooperative relationship with your contractor.
They are your investment adviser and will help you navigate through the budgetary process offering ways to formulate and stay within your budget, educating you to the ‘soft costs’ that most people don’t think about and outlining the different methods of construction delivery that will meet your budget. As the design process unfolds, they will be able to keep you on the budgetary track you have laid before them by assisting with the selection of materials, finishes, and many other details that go into the actual design; architects stay abreast of the latest advances in interior and exterior construction components. Any changes that are made along the way are made on paper, long before they become a reality during construction, and every change has a cost attached to it. These detailed drawings and specifications lead to fewer questions during permitting, bidding and construction thus saving you time and money. And, if sustainable design and green building principles are important to you, they can design a high-performance building with a minimal carbon footprint.
The bottom line is this: 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.”2
If your project requires engineering and other design services, the architect can and will coordinate a team of experts so you don’t have to, making your life easier and freeing you to do other things that require your attention. They can help you find qualified contractors and visit the construction site to verify that the project is being built according to the plans and specifications.
Depending on the nature of the project, as well as other contributing factors, the design process can vary in length of time. You will develop a close working relationship with your architect, which often turns into a friendship that lasts longer than the design process. And, isn’t that what life is all about…making connections along the way?
Your decision to hire an architect and the person/firm you choose will have a huge impact on your project, your finances and your life. It is worth the time and effort to research and find the architect who is “the right fit”.
About the Author: Tammy Texter is the Office Manager at Tokarski Millemann Architects. She manages the daily operations of the firm, as well as human resources and staffing. She is passionate about the customer experience and always tries to display our core value of extraordinary service both internally to our staff and externally to all of our clients!
If you think TMA might be the right fit for you and your project, please give us a call at 732-262-0046. Our staff of talented designers is waiting to work with you!