Answers To Your Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why Hire An Architect?

An architect can ensure that what you envision and want for your new home or remodel or any project is what you get. An architect can also explain why one design feature is better than another and how to best optimize the space for your lifestyle, budget and the site itself. Architects understand aesthetics, light, flow and utilization of space. You will most likely receive a greater ROI when you sell your home if an architect was involved. There is a difference between having your home designed by an architect and a builder’s designer. More architect questions?  Check out this article.

2. What Is The Difference Between An Architect, A Designer And A Contractor?

  • An architect has several years of focused education in design, has completed years of apprenticeship and has passed a three day long registration exam. He or she is licensed by the state. Only people who have these qualifications can call themselves an architect. Ask if your builder has an architect on staff.
  • A designer may have a two year certificate, B.A.  or some other education in design. They may have a passion for homes or space but they do not have the same degree of education, registration and license that an architect does. Anyone can call himself or herself a designer.
  • A contractor is a person who makes structural or aesthetic changes. Contractors are generally licensed by the state to build homes or other structures. They are not architects. They do not have the design education that architects do.

3. When Is An Architect Worth The Cost?

Every project can benefit from an architect. Good design translates into better everyday use and enjoyment of your space. Architects consider the natural light, landscape and views your site offers. Homes that are professionally designed generally garner a higher resale price.

4. How Much Do Architects Typically Charge?

Residential architects generally charge $125- $300 an hour. An architect or firm may also charge a percentage, from 10-15% of the total construction cost. Remodeling jobs can cost up to 25% of the total construction cost. Smaller firms or sole proprietors have the flexibility to negotiate the terms of each project with each client.

5. What Types Of Projects Can An Architect Help Me With?

Architects specialize, they do schools, churches, multi-family housing, retail or government buildings or homes. At Guy Williams Architecture, I am an expert in home design. While I have done churches, government buildings, apartment buildings and other types of design, for the past 30 years I have focused on homes. My passion is living spaces:  New construction, cabins, garages, condominiums and remodels.

6. Does It Make A Difference If My Architect Has Building Experience?

Put simply, yes. An architect who has built homes knows how a house goes together: from which materials to use or avoid to the installation, timeline, and how contractors and subcontractors can make or break a project.  An architect who has framed a house, raised walls, installed windows, and tiled floors understands each piece. As an architect who has contracted or co-contracted numerous homes I have a depth of knowledge and understanding that other architects with no building or contracting experience do not. I bring this knowledge to bear on each project I work on.

7. What Is The Difference Between Using A Big Firm And A Small Firm Or Sole Proprietor?

When you work with a small firm you are not handed down to a first year architect. When you work with a sole proprietor you work one-on-one with that architect. Small firms and sole proprietorships also have more flexible fee scales. At Guy Williams Architecture I offer experienced, personal service every step of your design and build process as well as accessible fees that work to fit your budget.