Why an Architect?
For most single family residential projects, as opposed to commercial and larger housing projects, a registered architect is not required. So why have an architect design a house, addition or remodel? After all, they cost more than home designers.
And, when to use interior designers, interior decorators, engineers or just use a contractor? And to further complicate the decision, architects have different levels of expertise and talents, so hiring an architect can go from being a so-so experience to 'I am so glad I hired this person.'
For good to excellent architects, a new house, an addition, or remodel will range from good to extraordinary, with budget not necessarily being the determinant. Architects have different training, they see the world a bit differently than other professions. They are many times original thinkers who hopefully listen well to clients' needs and desires. Architects compose space using natural light, artificial light, volume, sequence, color, sound, texture, views, and landscape. They incorporate design into the more pragmatic concerns of a project, including durability. Regulatory, energy and structural requirements are also factored in. A creative architect may be advantageous during regulatory reviews. Green design, healthy buildings, and innovative energy concepts are also important to consider in a residential design. On the service and design end, architects much more fully document projects with details and specifications, and act as an owner's representative on the construction site. More is figured out on paper before construction, and this can have a positive impact on construction cost.
So if you can, hire a good architect, one who you get along with and trust, and you will probably get a project that is better than you had envisioned. You'll know it was designed by an architect when you see the finished work.
Most architects consider this the best building in the Pacific Northwest,
Finnish architect Alvar Aalto's Mt. Angel Seminary Library, Mt. Angel, Oregon, completed in 1972. A masterpiece that is a symphony of light and space.