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What does an Architect do? Do I need to hire one?

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

The architect’s skill set is not just as designers, planners, and problem solvers, but as coordinators, translators, and analyzers.

Your architect will help translate your dream or ideas into a form that meets your design aesthetic, code, and budget requirements while also incorporating the way you want to live, work or play in your space. Architects take into account environmental analysis as well as material, energy, light, sounds, sustainability, and several other factors as they design the building in whole and in small details. We will create drawings that will provide instruction to the General Contractor on exactly what the vision is.

Architects are trained to think about a project on several levels. They have learned several aspects of building science so that they can work with many different disciplines of sub-consultants such as structural engineers or mechanical engineers this is helpful so that they can solve problems together, the sub-consultant thinking about the problem from their isolated field while it is the architect job to review the proposed system and think about how it will integrate with the entire project. The more complicated the project, the more collaboration and the higher the understanding will be needed by the architect.

Architects are licensed professionals that are responsible for the life, safety, and welfare of anyone that enters into built space. To become an architect, it takes 5-7 years of school, 3 years of hours trained in specific areas, and 8 exams that each take months to study for. The average starting age of a licensed architect in California is 33 exemplifying architects are held to an extremely high standard.

Different project types and even different styles require different knowledge bases and specialties. For example, a Hospital would be at the end of a highly specialized field but a wellness spa could be done by almost any architect with a commercial interior background.

Really high-end minimalistic modern architecture is very specialized because like an iPhone the engineering is tucked away in the most elegant way. This takes extreme coordination and problem-solving.

Architects are not required to be hired on small residential projects. How do you know if you need one? If you are in SF and you live in Condo it is required to hire one. If you are doing a lot of work that affects Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and Structure it is best to hire one. If you are wanting a new floor plan you might be able to hire an interior designer but if you want intricate structural details. Like large open spaces, custom staircases, or additions it is also best to hire an architect.

If you are in the market for an architect now please schedule a free consultation now.

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