a year ago
A good design is essential for a housing project when it comes to house alterations, additions, expansions, new constructions, renovations, etc. Besides the quality of construction, the design is the most important factor deciding whether you make the investment worth. It is usually expensive to hire an architect, so when should you consider hiring an architect, and when should you consider hiring an interior designer? Please keep reading.

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1. What Does an Architect Do?

An architect is a licensed professional. Like a doctor or a lawyer, they have completed college courses, had lengthy internships, and passed a series of strict tests. Their training covers a wide range of areas, from landscape design to structural engineering, from art to mathematics. This diversity training means that the architect can see possibilities and find solutions to satisfy your personal needs. Although an architect or an interior designer can make adjustments as your request, an excellent architect will anticipate your needs and maximize your interest. For some projects, an architect has many titles. They design, paint, pick materials and oversee the entire process. You architect will visit your construction site, observe the direction of the sun, pay attention to the breeze, outline the existing plants, and plan the landscape to provide the best experience. As of renovation, an architect not only knows the structural work, but also appreciate the symmetry and proportion, and predict the project cost. Before drawing, the architect would spend time with you and your family and get to know you deeper. Like any other professionals, an architect will ask you a bunch of questions to understand your lifestyle because the purpose of their design is to make people’s life more comfortable, and they often ask you the following:

  • Who will live in the house? What are their ages? Are you going to rent it later?
  • How important is it for you to have a formal or informal dining room?
  • Do you like parties? How would you arrange the kitchen?
  • Do you consider your bedroom a haven in the day where you spend a lot of time? Or is it just a bed to sleep in?
  • Do you need a private space to use your computer? Or do you prefer a central media station where you can supervise your children?
  • What does it make you uncomfortable in the house you currently living in? What do you think about your current home?

What is the Cost of Hiring an Architect?

Unlike paying doctors’ bills, there is no insurance in architectural projects. The owner is obligated to all the expenses. In general, the service of a professional architect may increase by 8% to 15% the final cost of building or remodeling houses. For small jobs, for example, some alterations can be charged by the hour. Architects will track “bill hours” and charge a rate based on the local economy, usually $60 to $160 per hour.

When Do You Need to Hire an Architect?

Architects are generally classified into licensed architects and unlicensed architects. Unlicensed architects are usually new graduates or architectural designers that are in the process of obtaining a license.

We usually classify buildings by the following types:

  • Commercial buildings
  • Residential buildings
  • Public buildings

You must hire a licensed architect for all commercial and public buildings. So, if you are going to open a mall or a shop, even a small restaurant, you should have it designed by an architect. For residential buildings, it can be divided by the size and the nature of the project.

A licensed architect is recommended if you are:

  • Remodeling or expanding a residential building with three floors or above.
  • Building a new residential house.

Hire an architectural designer if you are:

  • Adding, remodeling, or removing a house with two floors or below.
  • Doing simple outdoor projects.

The cost to hire a licensed architect is 2 or 3 times more than hiring a regular architect. Thus, the owner should make a decision based on what projects they are undertaking.

About Interior Designer

Another way to save money is to hire an interior designer for your new home. It costs less to hire an interior designer because they do not have the equivalent education and requirements as an architect. However, an interior designer must obtain a certificate to prove that they have complete the courses and related experience. Pros: An interior designer is specialized in residential buildings, instead of offices, shopping centers, or gas stations. For this reason, an interior designer may have more design experience than a licensed architect. An excellent interior designer can customize a home for you. Cons: Like a real estate developer, an interior designer tends to make traditional plans. In other words, an interior designer is not trained to create complicated or unusual designs. If you have special requirements, or you want a unique home, then you might want to hire an architect.