Additional Services your Architect can Provide: is about the extra tasks you can engage your Architect to perform and why.
If you’re like many people, you probably think that an Architect is hired to only design your house and they are done. While this can be the case, most of these professionals have a host of Additional Services they offer that can be a Godsend to most people having a house designed and built. Let’s review several.
Additional Service 1: SITE WALK, SITE ANALYSIS: one of the most popular additional preliminary services of the company above is their Site Walk and Preliminary Site Analysis.
Additional Service 2: CABINETRY ELEVATIONS/ CABINETRY PLANS/ INTERIOR DESIGN: When some firms provide cabinetry design, they also design what’s behind the cabinetry: the wall beyond, and the entire bathroom and kitchen (the company above does).
Additional Service 3: ELECTRICAL SCHEMATICS: very nice to have and important to include along with the cabinetry design, as there are usually many lights integrated with the cabinetry, along with light switches on the walls nearby.
Additional Service 4: BIDDING MANAGEMENT: Your Architect can put your project out for bids from qualified, licensed and insured General Contractors and guide all to play by the same rules.
Additional Services 5: VALUE ENGINEERING: if you don’t have any idea what parts of your project can be downgraded or removed entirely without damaging the rest of the project, then this is something you should entrust to your Architect. Making casual cuts without concern for what happens to the rest of the project can be catastrophic.
Additional Services 6: CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION: if you know how to build something more complex than a hospital, then go on, manage the construction of your house. But if you don’t know a lot or very little about construction, you may very well want your Architect handling this for you.
Additional Services 7: WARRANTY SERVICES: having your Architect return to your house during the 11th month could be one of the most valuable additional services. General Contractors usually provide a 1-year “bumper to bumper warrantee on your house. Meaning: finding problems near the end of this warrantee can obtain for you much-needed corrections that could have cost tens of thousands in the future, after the warrantee expires.
Additional Services 8: POST WARRANTY SERVICES: Even after the main General Contractor warrantee expires, there are other warrantees still active and your Architect can help you identify issues that should bring about relief under those warrantees. And, even if all warrantees have lapsed, having your Architect identify issues needing correction can result in your saving huge investments later.
Additional Services 9: 3D IMAGERY: 3D animations and/or renderings showing you what the project’s going to look like.
How about some specifics about the above?
Site Walk/Site Analysis: this can help you understand where the best location is for house, driveway, porches, septic, well and possibly other features. That only makes this a very valuable service. For instance: reading a site’s contours requires expert analysis and can save you hundreds of thousands in foundation costs.
See below for more:
Cabinetry/Interiors: If you really want to get what you want, your Architect can do a better job of this than anyone else: after all that’s the person that designed the house. Have a licensed pro doing this. And if you want to clearly see what the cabinets and interior is going to look like, with your input and approval.
Electrical Schematics: Your Architect is one of the few people that can proper coordinate lighting, switching and outlets with your cabinetry. Also, unless you want your switchbanks hidden behind door swings, you might want the person who design your house laying out your electrical items.
Bidding: this can be a difficult process. Particularly in having all bidders honor the procedures and forms to be used. Architects are skilled at this. Trying to do this for yourself can be almost impossible. If you want an apples to apples bid, then everyone must use the same forms. And finding properly insured and licensed General Contractors and checking their track records can be hard to those people inexperienced in accomplishing this.
Value Engineering: Unless you are familiar with construction and know what needs what to function and what can be eliminated and what must remain, you may want your Architect performing this duty. The Architect is one of the few professionals that understands the interrelationship between the components, who won’t allow removal of things essential. He/she will not allow removal of important components, but still help achieve cost savings.
Construction Administration: unless you know construction, you really should consider having your Architect performing this service. Processing your Contractor pay requests is one of these tasks: your Architect won’t authorize your paying the Contractor until he/she has seen the last month’s work in person and noted the corrections that need to be done. In other words, your Architect helps you determine if the Contractor invoices are reasonable and notes needed corrections. Also, your Architect will require that the Contractor provide Lien Releases so you are left holding the bag if someone doesn’t get paid. And your Architect will insist on obtaining your Contractor’s insurance forms from the insurance carrier before anyone sets foot on your property, along with a host of other optional additional services. Not to mention crisis-management when something needs help on your project site.
Warranty Services: for instance: your Architect might see where the wind has kicked up some planting bed mulch up onto your siding. Left unattended, this could attract termites. Earlier detection = quick fix. Or the detection of a leak in some piping. Quick fix = less damage.
Post Warrantee Services: detecting a problem with a heat pump or air handler could save thousands, as these devices often have a 5 year warrantee. Even though you might think nothing is covered, your Architect could find problems and request Contractor repairs, resulting in nothing or very little from you to obtain either repaired or new equipment.
3D Imagery: Having a picture is worth a thousand words. Having a movie is worth a million. Clearly understanding what your project is going to look like around the exterior and through the interior are valuable services that you might not want to miss. This service can help you completely understand what your house is going to look like. Most people say they are “visually oriented”. This means: show them what it looks like through this additional service. Most Clients are delighted to pay for this service that shows them exactly what their house is going to become.