What you pay an Architect to do: Program your house, Design it, Develop that design, Detail it, Specify it, Bid it and if you like: perform Construction Administration and other services.
HOME ARCHITECTS ® handle projects for their Clients performing these services all the time, across the USA. Experienced, licensed Architects who primarily focus on residential architecture have a proven process. That process, which is taught to them at major universities and while they apprentice at other architectural firms is this:
2. SCHEMATIC DESIGN
3. DESIGN DEVELOPMENT
4. CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENTS
(detailed drawings & specifications)
6. CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION
7. WARRANTY PERIOD
8. POST WARRANTY PERIOD
Some people think they don’t need a great design or detailed documents and pay the price for this as their project spirals out of control without anything to guide the builder and protect the Owner.
Some builders (not all) prefer to have very skimpy drawings, such as only floor plans and elevations and nothing more. And such builders may prefer to bill you on a “Cost-Plus” basis. The reason? It puts the builder in control of the ultimate cost to you and the builder in charge of what you receive for your money (i.e.: the quality). Is that what you want? To give all that control to the builder? They use the excuse of only having sketchy design documents as a main reason to use this Cost-Plus method. Without you knowing what you are getting for your money, or how much you are going to end up paying? Of course a bad builder would prefer that. Why? Because they will be able to reduce the quality of the construction while increasing your cost. Is that in your best interests? Definitely not.
Once again, not all licensed General Contractors behave in that manner. You can learn how to separate the “good guys” from the “bad guys.” How? It’s pretty simple: The good Contractors, first of all are Licensed, AND they recommend that you hire a Licensed Architect to design your house and provide, detailed documents. Why? Because they want you to obtain a better-designed house that will make you happy and help make them have a better reputation. And this allows the GC (General Contractor) to precisely price the project, because they have detailed architectural documents. It is more work for the Contractor to price things this way, but it provides you with a specific cost, up front, before the construction begins.
THAT’s one of the main reasons you want detailed architectural documents: it’s one of the only ways any builder will agree to build you project for a specific, contractually agreed-to price.
Bad Contractors are often Not licensed and they will try to talk you out of using a real Architect and they will try to “throw the Architect under the bus,” casting dispersions on their work, in an attempt to get rid of them. Why? Because the bad Contractors don’t want anyone telling them what to do. And they don’t want knowledgeable people (like Architects) watching what they are doing. They don’t want to get caught. They want total control of the project and they want you to be left in the dark, not knowing what they are doing in terms of material quality, especially where you can’t see it, so that they can make more money, leaving you with the impression that you are getting something good, when it is exactly the opposite. Such bad Contractors use wood that is not rated for ground contact, knowing that it will rot within a few years, long after their 1-year warranty is over, or not tie down your roof framing with steel strapping, betting that no high winds will happen soon and cheap paint, tile grout and other items that can mean serious, expensive maintenance for you down the road, not to mention much higher utility bills.
Good Contractors, on the other hand, encourage you to use the best licensed residential Architect possible, so that you will have a functional, logical and beautiful design that will make you happy for years to come. Those good Contractors will enjoy collaborating with other licensed professionals to better serve the mutual Client: obtaining the best Design from those who do that best (Architects) and then having the project built by those to build best (Contractors). It takes a team of the best of the best to yield outstanding results.
Architects will ALWAYS encourage you to use the best licensed General Contractor available to build their designs. It is a two-way street. Mutual respect will help the process.
What You Pay An Architect To Do
Which is what gets us to the main subject of this article: having an Architect be the designer of your house so that you can obtain their services. And of course you pay for those services. They provide you with tremendous value. Click here to see some of what that value can be:
Value of Residential Architect
Value of an Architect: Lighting
Value of an Architect: Roofing
Home Value Engineering Architects
And the services once again, are: Programming, Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents. Those are the Basic Services.
You can also obtain optional Additional Services, including Bidding/Pricing, Construction Administration and Warranty Period services.
These are all what you pay an Architect to do.
Here are the definitions and descriptions of what happens in each of these phases of work: –> Architectural Services.
Here’s an online article that will allow you to obtain a free download of a mini-e-book about this process:
Client Centered Architectural Design Process
In general: Programming is at the beginning, when the Architect listens to you tell him what you want.
Schematic Design is where the Architect creates the Floor plans and Site Plan.
Design Development involves creating the exterior elevations and adding additional information to the plans and other project documents.
Construction Documents are the remaining detailed drawings and documents of the project, including Specifications.
To contact a licensed residential Architect: Rand@HomeArchitects.com 828-269-9046
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