The Advantages of Hiring an Architect
April 19, 2011 Leave a comment
Do you really need to hire an architect ?
Filipino architects wear many hats in many building design and construction projects. They may create the design, make the drafts, select the materials and supervise the entire work process. For other projects, an architect’s role may be limited to drafting the blueprints.
You can go for some cost-saving options but they don’t always work out for everyone. Here are the alternatives and their advantages and disadvantages:
1. Buying a Stock Building Plan
Architects and home designers create stock building plans for mass marketing through magazines, catalogs and websites.
Advantages: It’s easy to find stock plans for houses in a wide variety of sizes, styles and budgets. If you can find stock blueprints similar to what you envision your dream house to be, you can hire an architect to make necessary alterations. This will help save money because changing an existing plan is always less expensive than designing a house from scratch.
Disadvantages: You’ve never met the architect who designed the stock building plan. This architect did not design the plan based on your tastes and needs. Stock building plans also do not take into account the nature of your building lot or the climate in your area. Many of those who buy stock building plans eventually decide to hire an architect to make modifications.
2. Hiring a Production Home Builder
Production home builders are often in charge of the construction of new homes in suburban housing areas. These builders have contracted architects and designers to create suitable plans for the region that will blend in with other houses in the development. You usually select one of the builder’s offered plans and “customize” it by selecting exterior siding, light fixtures and other architectural features.
Advantages: Working with a familiar and traditional plan means builders can work faster and more economically.
Disadvantages: Your house will be built with a limited array of standard features. Though you can request the builder to make some modifications, your house will not be a custom home and is likely to look very similar to the other houses in your development. The builder may refuse to make or charge highly for any changes you request that are not on the established list of options.
3. Hire a Professional Home Designer
Home designers usually charge lower fees because they do not have the same level of education or the same licensing requirements as architects. Nevertheless, professional home designers do have professional certificates which show that they have completed courses and achieved experience in the house design and construction industry.
Advantages: Some home designers may actually have more experience in house design and construction than some architects because they specialize in residential design, not office buildings, shopping centers or gas stations. A good home designer can create a customized home with the needs of your family in mind.
Disadvantages: Like real estate developers and home builders, home designers tend to create traditional plans. In general, they do not have the necessary training needed to create complex or unusual designs. You’ll definitely NEED to hire an architect if you want a truly unique home or have special needs.
Architects, like doctors, engineers and lawyers, are licensed professionals and have completed university programs and lengthy internships. They need to pass a series of rigorous exams before getting their license. An architect’s training covers many areas, ranging from landscape design to structural engineering.
Architects are trained to see possibilities and find solutions to your special needs. While a builder or a home designer may accommodate some of your modification requests, a good architect will anticipate your needs, even if you are not sure how to express them.