Do you contact a builder or architect first
Updated: Jul 12
When it comes to home improvement, many people are unsure of whether they should get a builder or an architect first. The answer is actually pretty simple. So, here are some things to consider when making your decision.
What is an architect and what do they do?
An architect is much more than just a professional who translates your dream home into reality. They are the ones responsible for meticulously crafting the blueprint of your house, taking all of your ideas and making them tangible in design drawings so that it can actually be constructed. When architects formulate the blueprints, they take into consideration all of the codes and regulations that regulate architecture. This guarantees your abode is safe and well-designed according to your preferences. Architects are also responsible for making sure that your home has plenty of natural light, air circulation, as well as fire safety features in order to make it a secure environment. Finally, the architect completes their drawings which serve as a roadmap for constructing the house. What remains then is to actually build according to these plans and bring them into reality.
What's a builder and what do they do?
In summary, the builder is your project's leader. They take the architect’s outline of what you want to create and construct it accurately in keeping with that plan. The builder brings all components of design into real life by constructing them as intended. When it comes to ensuring a successful construction project, the builder is paramount. Not only do they secure permits and guarantee regulatory compliance, but also manage budgets accordingly. Additionally, they source all necessary materials with precision in order to complete any given job on or under budget. An architect crafts a blueprint for your dwelling, with the aim of ensuring it is constructed safely and securely. Subsequently, the builder executes those plans - scrutinizing every construction detail from laying down foundations to putting on final touches. This meticulous process warrants that your home will be structurally sound in its completion.
So which one is first?
Even though it might make sense to engage your architect first and then call in the builder, we have observed this process cause a great deal of distress and financial loss numerous times. Thus, it is essential that you take a different approach when constructing your dream project.
Unfortunately, it is quite common for builders to lack the expertise necessary to produce stunning designs and drawings, while architects and building designers are often not proficient in cost estimation or construction techniques. This can result in unexpected design downgrades once the build has already begun - transforming your dream home into an "almost" version of your initial vision. As a way to guarantee the most precise plan and budget for your project, it is wise to engage with both your custom-home builder and architect as soon as possible. This will give them an opportunity to collaborate on crafting you the best design that fits your budgetary limits and timeline.
By teaming up early in this process, you can rest assured knowing that all of their combined efforts are concentrated towards offering you quality results. By engaging with a professional designer from the very beginning, you'll enjoy tangible benefits such as reassured cost and timelines; final plans that can be implemented quickly; access to expert knowledge and shared ideas for your project through teamwork based on trust; enhanced time efficiency investments in both financial and temporal costs. The builder's expertise will be invaluable to the project from its conception and can provide guidance on where design changes could benefit with improved simplicity, time-saving or efficiency. A custom-home builder is also fully aware of the project before construction begins which allows for a much smoother transition into building as opposed to introducing new personnel at this stage if you decide to use said builder for the actual work.
By combining their unique talents and expertise, an architect and custom builder create something truly extraordinary during the design phase. When you employ a top-tier custom home builder, you should expect nothing but excellence. They will take your vision and make it a reality. Furthermore, their extensive experience from past projects grants them the ability to provide valuable insight into design layouts and features that can be implemented on your own project for maximum value engineering and cost savings. In addition, they are adept at suggesting materials in terms of pricing availability which further enhances the efficiency of production as well as estimating costs even before plans have been completed! In addition, today's best practices for product and system building are now part of many experienced custom-home builder's repertoire. Their adeptness in solving any potential constructability concerns as well as understanding the local/state codes, deed restrictions, HOA approvals & permitting processes is invaluable. And, they boast a wealth of latest design and construction trends to help bring your vision to life.
As you begin to build your dream team, keep in mind that it is essential to collaborate with both an architect and a builder. Whether you decide to search for the perfect fit first or hire one at a time, be sure to inquire if they are willing and able to work together cohesively. It's important that each party works well independently but also understands how their skillsets can contribute towards achieving the best possible outcome when working as part of a duo. By connecting with reliable partners who understand the power of collaboration, creating and constructing your dream home can be a smooth journey without any unexpected issues. Since everything will have been predetermined before construction begins, you won't need to worry about hiccups along the way.
In this day and age, the roles of architects and builders in custom home building are becoming indistinguishable. People have discovered that it is beneficial to bring together both professions at the start of planning and design. Builders are broadening their skill set by adding architectural design while experienced architects are learning more about construction materials. You may be familiar with design and build companies which encompass those two jobs under one roof; however, you don't necessarily need to commit yourself to just one business entity if that's not what suits your needs best.
So, should you hire an architect or a builder first for your home?
The answer is simple, both. Builders will have extensive experience in the industry and will be able to provide valuable insight into design layouts and features that can be implemented on your project for maximum value engineering and cost savings. And to get help with the planning stages of your build - such as understanding local/state codes, deed restrictions, HOA approvals & permitting processes, you must have an architect on board. Be sure to connect with reliable partners who understand the power of collaboration in order to design and build your dream home without any unexpected issues. If you'd like to create your own dream custom home, regardless of if your dream home is a French provincial home, or a modern home design, you can contact us for building, architectural services, or both!
Recommended Reading > Unlocking the Beauty of Natural Lighting in Home Design