Do you save money by hiring an architect?

IMG_6575Hiring an architect should save you time, money, minimize bumps, streamline the building process, and provide an accurate picture of what to expect well before the first shovel of dirt is turned over.

I heard it again last week from a friend that decided to cut costs by not hiring an architect: “I wish I had hired you, I would have saved a ton of money and frustration.” It is a painful conversation for both me and the person that made the choice not to hire me that I have had many times. I struggle to get work, get told many times over that potential clients found a cheaper alternative, then I see the results and the mistakes made by those not understanding design.


The problem is that I cannot prove hiring a design professions (not a drafter, not a builder that does design) will save you money, but I have heard from many that have tried that it does not work. Have you had the same experience? Have you avoided design costs by going another direction and ended up with exactly what you wanted? Comment below and share your experiences – size, shape, complexity, situation, renovation, commercial, residential. It will help me better convey to my potential clients why they should hire me and help other blog readers make this decision.



5 Comments Add yours

  1. If only it were that easy. Many unlicensed home designers are quite capable of getting the details correct, as are many contractors. They may or may not be good designers in the visual sense. They may or may not be good at addressing owner needs.

    Some architects do not understand how buildings go together, the result of inadequate college education or experience. Some architects are not good at addressing owner needs. However, similar comments can be made about doctors and attorneys.

    A license doesn’t guarantee anything, and as architecture schools spend more time exploring theory and appearance, and less time on the basic principles of design – how stuff works, how it goes together – the value of the license decreases.


  2. Sheldon, Thanks or reading and posting a comment to my blog!

    The difference I see between non-licensed and licensed is training and liability. If you don’t hold a license you don’t hold liability for your work. So the standard of care in my opinion is drastically different. I would not change the training I got in school that taught me to think “design.” I have gotten the technical skills I need working in the industry and attending training post graduation. I did learn how things go together in school, but continue to learn every day about buildings and how they are built, function, and perform. I would say the opposite – the value of license increases each day for me. I cannot imagine doing what I do without ALL the training I have gotten and will continue to get in the future.


  3. Mike says:

    about 12 years ago i added a major addition to my house. Being a do it yourselfer I tried to do the design work and found that i was not getting my desired results. I hired a local firm, (you were not around at the time), and found that the money I spent was the best investment I made in the entire project The contractor said ours was the best run remodel he ever completed. My wife and I were glad we hired a Professional, on all accounts.


  4. Thanks for sharing your experience Mike!


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