A very good question. With most of our design projects being residential in nature, we find that the majority of our clients have never worked with an architect before, so how would they know. It’s very likely that they have worked with builders, plumbers and electricians for basic home repairs and small remodeling projects. Yet, and I will be the first to admit it, working with an architect can be a very mysterious process. The good news? It’s not rocket science.
So, who does come first? In all honesty, it depends on the nature of exactly what you are looking to do. Doug Hanna, the “H” ofS+H Construction, will ask for a plan when approached by a homeowner looking to do some remodeling work. "Without the design drawings, the project is very likely not well-defined", say Doug. And having a poorly defined project makes it very difficult for any builder to provide realistic construction costs. “Take for instance a bathroom renovation. Without drawings, we don’t know if there is a tile wainscoting, a medicine cabinet or a recessed radiator. Without drawings, we won’t know which sink to price, which bathtub to price, which floor to price, which faucets to price, and on and on”.
In Doug’s opinion, on most remodeling, renovation or addition projects, an architect needs to come first. “When a homeowner invests in an architect to design the project, the end result is a well-defined job, one for which we can provide real construction numbers”. Doug was also quick to point out that these drawings are often required by all building departments when filing for the building permit.
That’s one reason why we have the file “Working with Design Associates” on our website. It’s located under the menu bar “Firm” and will help to outline just what it is that we do.