Architects: are the glue that hold projects together.
Many people whom have never had an Architect involved with their residential design and construction project may just not be aware of all that a Licensed Architect can and will do for them.
For instance: Yes, of course: design your house.
If you stop with their services there, you are missing so much more that can help you and may just make your project possible and so much better.
Construction Documents (Detailed Working Drawings & Specifications).
Electrical Schematic Layout.
Contractual Coordination with your Attorney/Contractor.
Negotiating/ Value Engineering.
Coordinating with your Bank/Lender: re: correct Appraisal amount, explanation of the features of your house, coordinating the Builder with the Bank, with the Owner.
Insurance company coordination to arrive at proper valuation for your Builder’s Risk policy.
Construction Administration ( in which many, many activities are coordinated and observed during the construction of your project).
Post Warrantee Services.
Maintenance Period Services.
Most Licensed Architects will require that you have them prepare the CDs (Construction Documents) for what they design. This is because there is a lot of liability associated with what they design. And to help you insure that your project is built properly, most licensed professionals will make this part of their Basic Services. Without CDs, no one can possibly build the project correctly. CDs eliminate most of the guesswork and stabilize the pricing on your job and insure that your project has quality built into it (rather than what the Builder feels like guessing to put into it). Good CDs also specify your projects systems and materials, insuring that you “get the good stuff.” Without CDs, you will have serious problems, which is why most pros make them required.
While a classic Optional Additional Service, this helps define, by the Architect, the design intent of a great deal of your interior: all of your cabinetry: Kitchen, Bathrooms, Laundry, Pantry and the like. And no one is better qualified than your Architect to design your Kitchen, Bathrooms and related spaces, with architectural-level quality.
Many people are surprised to hear that these are not required to obtain a Building Permit. Nope. However, they are strongly suggested, otherwise your Electrician will run around your roughed-framed house with a can of orange spray paint, indicating where HE thinks they should be, to save you (and mainly him) the most money (not where you really want and need them). Having your Architect do this for you, along with the Cabinets, coordinates these two critical design activities simultaneously. Important.
If you think a picture’s worth a thousands words, a movie of your project (before it’s built) is worth a million. HOME ARCHITECTS ® offers this optional additional services to all of its Clients. Very cool, walking through and around your house in virtual reality, making sure you like and want everything.
Are you a Construction Professional? No? Do you really think that you are going to be able to properly manage your project? Are in a situation where you can afford to take off about a year of time while managing things? No? Are you in a physical location that will allow you to do so? No? Then you may want to seriously consider having your Architect manage your project, as well as design it. They are the only pro uniquely qualified to run your project, coordinating all the involved parties.
Your Architect can coordinate with both your Contractor and Attorney to make sure that the agreement between you and your Builder is what it needs to be. Your Architect knows what should be in that crucial document (and what should not) to help keep you and your project on the right track and out of trouble. Well worth the involvement.
Your Architect can put your project out for bids. He can contact Builders he knows, and also Contractor Associations to try to help you find qualified licensed General Contractors. Do you know how to do that? Can you answer all the technical questions that the bidding Contractors are going to ask you? You might want and need your Architect to help you with that.
NEGOTIATING/ VALUE ENGINEERING
Your Architect can negotiate with the Contractors and help you obtain reduced pricing in exchange for reduced features/ quality. If you don’t know where to start cutting, you’re going to have a problem trying to do this for yourself. Or worse, if you allow a Contractor that is not familiar with the design to start cutting, he or she may end up eliminating something crucial to the project.
BANK/ LENDER COORDINATION
Your Architect knows how to defend the range of value the appraiser should make on the project, so that you obtain your proper loan amount. Without this, you can have what are called “Defective Appraisals.” Also, your Architect can help your lender understand the various features in your project and why it might be worth more.
INSURANCE COMPANY COORDINATION
Never thought about this, did you? If you can’t convince your insurance company of the actual replacement cost of your house, they won’t insure it for that amount! That could be a real problem for your bank/lender, not to mention you, if something bad happens to your house while under construction (and in the future). Your Architect is one of the few people that has the authority and knowledge to help convince your insurer to insure your project for the proper amount.
These services are too long to list them all here. However, some of them include Site Visits, during which your Architect can compare your Builder’s $40,000 Pay Requests with the work he just performed, checking to see if that is a proper amount. Without this, you could easily be “front-loaded” by your Builder and be left holding the bag, later in the project. Also, do you really know what you are looking at during construction? Best to have a pro evaluate what the Contractor has installed, to make sure you “get the good stuff.” And many, many more CA (Construction Administration) services.
Your Architect can help you obtain coverage for equipment and material failure while under warrantee. Things you might not think of and go ahead and pay for, without understanding that you have coverage. For instance, your A/C compressor is typically warranteed for 5 years. Did you know that? That could have cost you thousands of dollars, if you didn’t check with your Architect. And there are many more.
Your Architect can help you properly maintain your house. Without their input, the repairs and ongoing maintenance might be done with improper materials that results in accelerated deterioration of adjacent systems. Best to check with the pro that designed the project. Could save you tens of thousands of dollars, and maintain the proper performance of materials and systems.
Contact: Rand@HomeArchitects.com 828-269-9046
tags: glue that holds the project together, cashiers, hendersonville, asheville, atlanta, highlands, sapphire, lake toxaway, glenville, post and beam, timber frame, construction administration