Champaign, Ill. (WCIA)
Planning and budgeting for a construction project can be daunting, as costs quickly add up. This week’s Angie’s List report explores whether hiring an architect pays off.
We’ve all heard the stories of construction projects that end up going over budget and surpassing deadlines. Finding efficient ways to save on construction projects is important, as situations beyond your control can quickly push the budget too far. One idea that might seem like a cost-saver is eliminating the architect, and simply using a contractor for planning. That might work well in some situations, but sometimes, it might not be an option. Angie Hicks elaborates.
“It might be tempting to save money on a big project by not hiring an architect. But if your neighborhood or city requires stamped plans, you’re going to need an architect for that work. Keep in mind, you can hire an architect for any size job and it will also protect you from breaking local code.”
Depending on the requirements of your local code, plans that have been stamped and approved by an architect may be necessary to pull permits for the work you’re having done. Some larger construction companies have their own in-house architects to meet these requirements, especially for new construction. However, if you’re planning to remodel, an architect may still be worth the cost, even for a seemingly smaller project.
Angie Hicks, Co-Founder of Angie’s List, “You might think only need an architect when you’re out building a new dream home. But, in fact, an architect can be really valuable when you’re doing a remodel. They can help make sure that your new addition blends nicely with the historical features of your home. They’re also really good at space issues in a remodel. So if you want to make sure your remodel ties seamlessly into your home, an architect can be a good idea.”
In addition to gaining their expertise for spatial planning and historical detail, there’s another benefit to working with an architect: receiving formal, finished drawings. Instead of a ‘back of the napkin’ type plan or verbal agreement with a contractor, you’ll have specific, detailed plans. That ensures that both you and your contractor know what to expect, the first time around. Avoiding a misunderstanding and the need to have work be re-done helps any project stay on budget. Having clarity like that may be priceless.