The good news is that, at the present, you will have a lot of options when it comes to who to choose to design your dream home whether it be a stock home plan, custom home designer/drafter or an architect. In this blog post I'll talk about the pros and cons of working with an home designer vs. an architect for your new house build.
All design professionals are great because they can help you take your vision from concept to reality by giving you detailed renderings and 3D models that show how everything will look in your space. But if you're looking for someone who will perform construction administration and specification writing then an Architect is probably better suited for what you need to make sure everything's done right on time and within budget.
Things to Consider:
1. The first thing you need to do is decide what type of design style you want.
Whether you're looking to build a ranch home or a farm house, designers and architects specialize in a certain style of design so it's important that you start by filtering for people who have expertise in your style so that your house will be built on time and budget. Look at examples of the designer's past work and make sure they specialize in your desired style
2. If you have a tight budget, consider your options.
Architects tend to be very pricey, often charging ~5-15% of the final build price. Home designers and drafters tend to charge much less ~1-2%. Check out our rates here.
3. Consider the size of your home and how much time you have before it needs to be completed.
This is going to be one of the first questions that your design professional will ask you. Make sure that you've thought deeply about when you will need to be moving into your newly built home and how much space you will need now and in the future.
4. Ask for referrals from friends or family members who recently hired a designer.
This is the best way to pre-vet a designer or architect.
6. Consider what other professionals you may need to hire in order to consider the broader design budget.
It’s important to find an experienced interior designer because they can help with everything from furniture placement to color choices.
In some jurisdictions or site conditions a structural engineer will be required.
We always recommend considering a landscape architect. Indoor/outdoor living is becoming increasingly common so you don't want to sacrifice curb appeal and backyard aesthetics for increased interior floorspace.
Do you know the difference between an architect and a home designer?
If you’re like most people, you may not That’s why we created this post to help explain the differences between architects and home designers. We want everyone to be able to make an informed decision about who they hire for their next project. It doesn't matter if it's a new house or just some renovations - hiring the right person is important!
Both are trained in architecture, engineering, construction methods, building codes/zoning laws, environmental systems (HVAC), structural design and safety procedures. They have knowledge of materials science as well as architectural history and theory.
But there are three key differences between them:
Specifications: Architects tend to specify specific products, materials and methods for your home. Many people like this process because it allows them to be hands off, while other people like to pick and choose every material and fixture themselves.
Construction Administration: Architects tend to offer this as part of their fee. This is where they make periodic site visits to ensure that the plans are being followed accurately and answer or clarify questions about the design from the contractors.
Fees: Architects tend to charge around 10% of the total build cost while home designers tend to charge a smaller flat fee of around 1-2%.
So which one should you choose? The answer depends on what kind of project you're working on and how hands-on you wan to be with the design process!
When it comes to home design, there are so many variables that need to be considered before you can get started. How big is your budget? Do you have a floor layout in mind already? What style do you want your designer to focus on? Do they specialize in the type of work you're looking for or will they have a team working with them from different backgrounds and styles who may not meet what you're going for? We know how overwhelming this process can be when starting out. That’s why we offer consultations where one of our design experts walks through all these questions with you and creates a custom plan based on your needs. If none of these seem like something that would fit well into your life right now, no problem! You can set up a consultation at any time.