Ben agrees with this practical advice and wants to pass it along to you...
WHY SHOULD YOU USE AN ARCHITECT?
Few people realize how complicated it is to build - that is, until they find themselves lost in the maze of design options, building codes, zoning laws, contractors, and so on. The architect is the one professional who has the education, training, experience, and vision to guide you through the entire design and construction process, from helping you define what you want to build to helping you get the most for your construction dollar.
Architects see the big picture. They don't just design four walls and a roof - they create total environments, interiors and exteriors that satisfy functional needs and are exciting, dynamic spaces in which to work and live.
THE ARCHITECT CAN SAVE YOU MONEY
A well-conceived project can be built more efficient and economical. Architects plan your project with you. As your ideas evolve, changes can be made on paper much less expensively than later on when construction is underway. Thorough drawings also make it easier for the contractor to accurately price and build your project.
-Because energy-efficient buildings can save you money on fuel bills. An architect can design a building to maximize heating from the sun and let in natural light, thus reducing your heating, cooling, and electric bills over time.
-Because the architect can work with your budget and help you select the appropriate materials and workmanship at a fair price.
-Because an architect can help you choose materials and finishes that are durable as well as beautiful, saving on frequent maintenance and replacement costs. Architects work to stay abreast of advances in roofing, brick work, floor tiling, paint finishes, etc. Their familiarity with the full range of materials enables them to suggest the appropriate materials for your project.
-Because good design sells. A well-designed house has a higher resale value. A well-designed store draws customers. A well-designed work environment attracts employees and increases productivity.
THE ARCHITECT CAN MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER
Let's face it, building is a long process that is often messy and disruptive, particularly if you are living or working in the space under construction. The architect you hire looks out for your interests and tries to find ways to make that process go smoothly. If your project requires engineering or other design services, the architect can coordinate this team of experts so you don't have to. The architect sorts out complex building codes and zoning laws. The architect can help you find qualified construction contractors based on your requirements. The architect visits the construction site to help verify that the project is being built according to plans and specifications.
Whether you are remodeling, adding on, or building from scratch, the architect can guide the way. Working with contractors and other construction professionals, architects can help you end up with a well-designed project that meets your needs and works within your budget and time frame.