There are some common misperceptions about architects, perhaps the most typical being that architects are only hired for designing a house from the ground up. Even then, you might be tempted to shy away from using an architect thinking that they’re all of the Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier or Mies van der Rohe ilk (either that or you’re thinking, “Who are these people?”).
Architects, despite their whimsical nature, are very practical and skilled professionals. If you want to make your home bigger by building an addition, adding another floor or expanding the attic, an architect can turn your dream into reality, all the while taking into account the current building’s structure, designing the addition to scale and blending it with the original building. Steven Lindy of Lindy Consulting Limited says that “all major remodeling projects can benefit from the design help of an architect because with thoughtful evaluation and design, architects can meet and often surpass your expectations.”
But architects won’t just design “another pretty addition,'” there’s substance there too. Lindy says, “it’s the architect’s job to design the project to satisfy building codes and meet specific structural demands. And strking that balance between aesthetic beauty and structural safety is no easy task.” Another advantage to using an architect is his ability to “troubleshoot” when problems arise during construction. An architect can work with the contractor to rework any structural versus design issues that might arise.
Flexibility in service: Architects can be hired for as little or as much of the project as you need. They can draw up a set of detailed plans from which a contractor can provide a quote and leave it at that, or they can be hired to follow the project right through to completion to make sure plans are being followed accurately.
Architects can deliver “green design”: Many architects are becoming “LEED” Accedited Professionals (LEED stands for “Leadership in Environment and Energy Design”). This means that their knowledge of green design methods, energy efficiency and more “eco-friendly” materials can deliver you a home that costs less to run, more energy efficient, with better indoor air quality.
Check our Architects category for reviews on architects near you.