Do I need an Architect for a remodel or renovation? If your project is large, expensive, and requires moving structural features the answer is that you almost always need an architect.  You likely will not need them for the full duration of the project but for help producing drawing, coordinating with engineers and getting your contractor on the right page an architect has a useful skill set.

What do they do?

Architects are trained in building design, engineering, and ergonomics. At the beginning of a large remodeling project, an architect will examine your house, listen to your wants and ideas, and provide expert guidance, direction and an idea of timeline/building costs.  They’ll also produce the plans you need to guide the project from start to finish.

What do they cost?

As is the answer to most things in live and building – it varies, but more than you’d probably like.  if you have a complex job it is wise to negotiate a flat fee ahead of time.  those flat fees can range widely but 5-20% of the total project depending on complexity is a fair range.

Am I obliged to hire an architect?

In short No.  There are a number of ways you could avoid or reduce the cost associated with hiring an Architect.  You could use a draftsman to produce technical drawings at a cheaper rate.  You could lean on your contractor to help guide the project more closely.

What is the advantage to having and architect on your project?

Architects have broader and deeper training than the two tradesmen mentioned above.  They will look not only for solutions but elegant solutions.  Solutions that add visual appeal and value to your project vs just getting it done.

So Do I need an Architect?  The verdict:

In short if you have a large project, an expensive complex project, or a high value home it would be prudent to hire an architect as you begin to tackle the work.