How to Know When You Need An Architect or Designer

How do you know when it’s prudent to hire an architect or a designer in helping you with your home projects? It depends on what your needs are. Small projects, such as renovating a room, installing fixtures, or adding on a deck, can all be done by you as the homeowner, or a contractor. But if you are looking to take on larger, more extensive projects – such as redesigning your entire home or building from the ground up, that’s when a professional such as an architect or a designer is generally used.

Understanding Architects

Architects design and supervise the construction of buildings. As engineers, they go through the process of drafting, planning, and building, and will determine whether or not a structure will be both aesthetically pleasing as well as sound. They are able to conceptualize projects right down to the tiniest of details, all while keeping in compliance with building codes and each project’s goals.

Hiring an Architect

While you might choose to hire an architect directly, other options include soliciting bids to look for architects based on the plans they present to you, or allowing an architect to oversee as a construction administrator who appoints contractors and subcontractors for the project. Whichever you decide to do, keep in mind that there are fees involved that can range by specialty and region, at an average of $65 per hour or higher.

Understanding Designers

Now let’s talk about designers. While they are experienced in planning out the design and more basic additions to the inside or outside of your home, they do not hold degrees in engineering or architecture or offer project management. But for the purpose of your home projects, their expertise might be just what you need, especially if you are on a budget. What’s important to note is that designers do consult with structural engineers on their plans to ensure that what is drawn up will be sound. Their renderings are then approved by a contractor who will follow the plans as specified, working alongside each other as a team for your project.

Hiring a Designer

Designers run $35 per hour or higher, but project costs are generally included in their rate. Once you approve the plans, the contractor will price out the project so that you know what you will be looking at for costs before commissioning the designer to finish the job. Because of the variance in designers’ skills, they might not always have extensive education or hold licensure, depending upon the region or State, and may not be insured against malpractice or negligence. To find a quality designer to meet your needs, you can inquire through a contractor or remodeling contractor, or call the licensing board for recommendations.

The Bottom Line

It all comes down to recommendations and your expectations and/or needs. It takes careful consideration of whomever you choose for doing a project, and whether you would really need an architect for the job or if it would be quicker and more to your advantage in going with a designer instead.

Are you selling your Naperville home?

If you need assistance in selling your Naperville property please do not hesitate to contact us at Call Listing Agent and Managing Broker of Ryan Hill Group, Teresa Ryan at 630-276-7575 for a no-obligation home sale consultation.

Get a copy of our Home Seller Guide written by Teresa Ryan for Chicagoland home buyers, visit: FREE Home Seller's Guide

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