The term “architect” is thrown around frequently throughout the process of remodeling or building a new home. You might know what an architect is and are willing to have a conversation about the necessity of one, or might avoid the idea altogether. Whether you are open to the idea or hesitant, the discussion of needing an architect will inevitably occur. But, before you decide if you should hire an architect, you should first know what one is.
An architect is, “someone who has studied, trained and become licensed in the planning, design and construction of buildings and their surrounding spaces” (The Forever Home, pg 19). In the construction process, they are the ones that determine what would best suite their clients in both function and aesthetic. They are also the liaison between the client and the contractors and the guardians of details and scheduling. In a sense, your architect is your best friend and counselor throughout the process of construction or renovation.
Now that you know what an architect is, it is up to you to decide if you need one.
An architect is not always a requirement for a project, but always someone you are well advised to involve. Depending on the neighborhood, homeowners might be required to hire a licensed professional for a construction permit. Otherwise, it’s a homeowner’s right to design his or her own home should they choose.
So if it isn’t required, why are you still advised to use one?
When you are ready to build a home, consider the following factors that could help you see why enlisting the help of an architect is beneficial.
Time: When you plan your home, is it somewhere you plan to live for a few years, or will it be a place you plan on staying forever? The longer you plan on staying in the home you build, the more time you will benefit from the customizations an architect can create. While there is an expense associated with choosing an architect versus doing it yourself, if you’re staying in the home for many years, you’ll have longer to experience and enjoy the home, and amortize the customization.
Customization: If you have needs that reach beyond what a cookie cutter home can offer, using an architect is your best bet. If you desire custom solutions that are tailored specifically for your family and lifestyle, you’ll benefit with an architect working on your project.
Personal Experience: Do you have a working knowledge of design and construction? Perhaps you’ve been through the building process before or completed a home renovation? While you may feel comfortable tackling these challenging aspects of building a home, due to family and work obligations, you may not have enough time to dedicate solely on this important project. However, an architect does. An architect will spend the time necessary to help ensure successful completion of every task involved, from the obvious ones down to the most minute details.
Tolerance: The building process can be frustrating and mentally taxing, and many homeowners simply don’t want to be burdened with the inevitable challenges that will pop up. Employing the professional assistance of an architect will cut your involvement on the day-to-day aspects of your project so you can focus on making the important and exciting decisions.
Design: Are you sensitive to design issues, such as awkward proportions and poor color combination? An architect is someone in-tune with the design aspects and issues that pop up regularly. Working with an architect can spare you the headache of poor design in the completed home, which can easily be missed by someone who isn’t sensitive to those issues until its already built.
Investment: Will you be investing substantial funds into this project? If so, it really does make sense to utilize an architect, for the protection of your investment.
Ability: Even those homeowners with the skills necessary to complete a project on their own experience challenges; sometimes, you can’t seem to get it right. If you are having trouble putting together your ideas, an architect can help you translate them into a workable plan and a finished residence that meets your desires and expectations.
In the end, an architect is only there to benefit the client. They are a helping hand and guiding force that supports the decisions of the client and tries to make their dreams a reality.
Now, the choice is up to you.
If you are considering building a new home or remodeling an old one, call Kevin Harris Architect, LLC at (225)924-7450 to speak to someone about a possible consultation or book a design consultation here.
© 2017 Kevin Harris, Architect, LLC
Kevin Harris, Architect, LLC designs custom homes to satisfy, support and sustain our client’s best life, to be an authentic expression of their site, lifestyle and culture, while remaining rooted in history and expressive of the times. For more information on Kevin or the firm go to www.kevinharrisarchitect.com.