Why Hire an Architect?

What is an Architect?

An architect is a licensed professional, with a minimum 5 years college degree, trained in architectural design, building construction technology, construction administration, code and zoning compliance, and contract administration.  Architects serve as the client’s professional consultant during the design and construction process. Architects coordinate and manage other professionals involved in the work.

When should architects be hired?

The earlier an architect is hired, the earlier they can help you plan your project and anticipate design and construction problems. It is especially helpful you hire an architect to help you with programming and site selection at the very start of any building project, large or small.

Archietects - compassHow can an architect help you?

Programming – Help you translate your needs and desires into an architectural scope of work
Conceptual Design – develop the scope of work into various alternative plans and sketches
Design Development – develop preliminary construction drawings for use in cost estimating; assist in selection of general contractor
Construction Documents – produce precise drawings for use by contractor, assist with final estimate and contract negotiation with contractor; filing for building permit;
Construction Oversight – periodic visits to site during construction, report on progress, assist owner with and/or approve contractor’s invoices

Additional Services

Property Selection
Special permits and variances
Interior Design
3D computer animations and renderings

How to find and choose an architect?

Word of Mouth, speak to clients  Western Massachusetts chapter of the  American Institute of Architects
Expertise and values match your needs
See actual work

How do you compensate an architect for their services?

Architects are normally paid in one of three ways, based on a written and signed contract clearly spelling out complete scope of services

The “architectural” fee usually includes compensation for structural, mechanical, and electrical engineering consultants if they are needed. Additional fees are required for additional engineering disciplines such as civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, acoustics, interior design, lighting design, site surveying, and landscape design.

Recommened Resources
The Not So Big House – Susan Susanka, Tauton Press   – American Institute of Architects
CET –  Center for Ecological Technology
Building Green –