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Do I need an architect for my home renovation process?

Sometimes we get a call from a client who says they don’t want to receive an offer for their remodeling because they want to hire an architect for their project. As designers, we educate homeowners about the difference between hiring a contractor, hiring an architect, and hiring a design and construction company. Here are some key differences to consider when planning a major home remodel:


If you are making major changes to your home, e.g. For example, to add or remove a wall, some contractors may ask you if you already have plans. If you don’t have a plan, they may recommend that you contact an architect before calling them for a quote. These types of contractors do not have the knowledge or equipment to create a design or develop plans for which you can get competitive offers. They are builders, not designers.


Architects are trained to understand the structures of buildings. They understand the concepts of design, but are not trained in design. Architects understand construction, but they don’t build. Architects often charge more than $150,000 for their time and projects. The plans can be used to get competitive offers from contractors. What many homeowners don’t understand is that architects don’t know the cost of construction. So, if you have a budget that you want to keep, your architect probably won’t suggest how to keep it within your budget. Rather, they are there to make plans based on what you call your “perfect” home, no matter the cost of construction. This often means that the renovation estimates are much higher than expected and that the design changes require a return to the architect. The multiple hiring of an architect causes a considerable delay in the start of the project due to additional changes between the architect and the contractor.


Design-build company

Design-build companies are the cream of the crop. You are the one-stop-shop for major renovations to your home. With a designer, an architect, and a staff builder, your design company can hear what the home of your dreams would understand and design it for you. With your budget in mind, the architect who works on your plans works closely with your contractor to ensure that the design can be completed within your budget.

We understand that this can be a bit confusing. Here are some of the questions we usually hear from clients trying to decide whether to hire an architect or a design and construction company.


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