An architect may be an excellent investment for many home projects. But, do you need an architect to build a house? No. It is an interesting idea if you can design your own house.

In fact, architects are not always essential. However, with complex designs, there are a few situations where a skilled architect is necessary to guarantee the quality of your project.

This article will share some cases that you need to hire an architect. We also suggest some tips for choosing a good architect. Let’s read on to discover!

What Does an Architect Do?

Architects create graphics, choose construction materials, and monitor the entire construction project. They may focus on the design process or assist clients in adjusting existing blueprints,

Architects usually visit the worksite and inspect the work in progress to verify that the structure’s performance fulfills specific demands and standards. An architect will also evaluate how the form will appear in relation to the surrounding setting.

In general, architects have a variety of tasks. They will also ask about your lifestyle to design a home that fits your needs.

Can You Build a Home Without an Architect?

You can not need to employ an architect. In fact, many constructors have created their own designs for a custom house.

However, when the customization needs to develop into a unique or extraordinary attribute, you need to hire an architect.

An architect would be beneficial if you were renovating the inside of a home, such as replacing structural parts, reordering plumbing, or expanding to the roof. Cosmetic improvements, on the other hand, do not necessitate the assistance of an architect.

Other Options

Since an architect is not compulsory for your construction, you can feel free to try other alternatives. As long as you don’t intend to change the inner part of your home, these methods can work.

1. Hire a Draftsperson

A draftsperson can turn designs into engineering drawings and blueprints that builders can follow. A draftsperson often does not have the same construction and technical expertise as an architect.

As a result, employing a skilled draftsperson is generally cheaper than engaging an architect. This option may also be cost-saving.

Don’t assume a draftsperson’s outcome to be less comprehensive than that of an architect. The draftsperson can conduct lighting and electrical circuits in detail. They can also deal well with plumbing and HVAC layouts.


2. Purchase a Stock House Plan

A stock plan is a good substitute for your home’s designs if you seek cost reductions and a time-tested design.

Someone has constructed those designs at least once. As a result, any difficulties with translating a blueprint into an actual construction are not the issue.

A stock home plan will offer a wealth of experience from various construction sites and problems addressed. It also can help save your money and time while providing you with a tested design. You can adjust and improve it over time.

Some stocks provide you a lot of options to modify. You can get a copyright license if you buy CAD files or a repeatable master. They allow you to make simple changes to the designs and add your own unique touches.

Homeowners may sometimes begin with a stock plan and then change it to meet their needs.

The change might involve fitting local construction standards and any unique building regulations that may apply to your house, such as wind regulations in hurricane-prone zones.

3. Hire a Good Home Builder

A home builder is similar to an architect. He specializes in new housing in suburban regions and projects, though.

Architects employ these specialists in designing layouts that sync with the surrounding environment, including the weather and adjacent residences.

Working with a mass-market housebuilder is straightforward and cost-effective. You can pick the color scheme and light settings for the house’s entrance. They will take care of the rest.

Production home builders, on the other hand, don’t provide complete customization.


How Much Does an Architect Cost for a Custom Home?

The cost of an architect varies based on the project, the regional economy, and the architect’s skill and profile.

The typical architect fee is $5,126, with a variation of $2,014 to $8,375. However, due to the complexity and size of the project, costs might be considerably higher.

The easiest way to estimate the expense of planning your project is to talk with different architects in your neighborhood. Of course, the cheapest estimate is not always the best.

There are payment methods for hiring an architect. Each alternative has its own benefits based on your requirements.

Hourly Cost

Some architects may charge you a fixed hourly fee. Typically, the price range is between $60 and $125. Charges will very probably be different in various regions of the country, especially in metropolitan areas.

The fixed hourly rate is the best option if your project is moderate and you already understand what you need in terms of design.

You can set the rate for your architect. If the budget reaches the limit, you may need to negotiate again.

If you’re hiring a firm for your construction, the rate will vary in different architectures. Obviously, experienced designers charge you more than the beginners, even when they’re in the same company.

The Proportion of Building Cost

Another method of paying is to set the cost for the proportion of the project. Typically, new construction may cost 5% to 15%.

If you’re working on remodeling projects, the cost may be somewhere between 15% and 20%. Remodeling is more complex than new construction since it addresses issues with existing problems.

One drawback of paying construction expenses is that you can’t be sure about it when looking for an architect.

Square-foot cost

Some architects work on a per-square-foot scale. This rate fluctuates wildly. The cost will be difficult to nail down in the beginning stages.

If your project is moderate, such as a kitchen remodel, the price per square foot must be high enough to warrant the architect’s work.

Combined Payment

Some architects adopt a hybrid approach. They want to get paid hourly until designs are complete, then pricing by each square foot.

Others determine a fixed charge for the entire project. A fixed fee offers you the advantage of knowing clearly how much you’ll pay upfront. Yet, be sure you understand what that cost includes.


When Do You Need an Architect?

You may have trouble with your home setting and need expert advice. In such a case, an architect can help you.

To be more specific, here are some scenarios that hiring an architect is necessary.

You Don’t Know How to Solve Problems with Your House

You’re having an issue with your home and don’t know how to fix it. Maybe you need another toilet, but you’ve used up every space in your home.

Skilled architects can support you in sorting through the options and coming up with new solutions that match your needs, lifestyle, and budget.

You Want to Utilize The Space Properly

Before creating any blueprint, a professional architect has to guarantee that you can make the most of the space in your house. Even the tiniest areas can become proper places if the architect works with them.

Sometimes what appears to be a space shortage is a circulation issue that the architect can resolve with a few adjustments.

You Don’t Feel Like Making Decisions

A massive remodeling project is a time-consuming, expensive process. It requires you to make countless decisions about subjects about which you have little expertise.

A skilled architect acts as a connection between you and your work, advising you to get the best results.

The Authorities Ask You to Hire an Architect

Often, an architect isn’t necessary for most remodeling projects.

However, in some cases, particularly in metropolitan areas, an engineer or architect may be asked to handle your designs. To be sure, contact the local public works department beforehand.

You’re Working on a Distinctive Project

Your preference plays a vital role in-home setting. Maybe you would like a vintage decoration or space-themed setup.

In those cases, design is the most crucial factor. You can’t deal with it by yourself. An architect, therefore, is necessary.

You Want to Minimize Your Budget

This reason may seem illogical, as hiring an architect entails paying for yet another expert. However, a skilled architect can help you cut down the cost.

One method is to use value engineering, which is coming up with solutions to obtain a product you want at a lower price.

To get the same result, an architect could recommend utilizing a similar but less expensive construction material. They can also help you avoid making bad decisions in design and material that you will regret later.

How to Find an Architect to Design Your Home?

Once you’ve affirmed that an architect is essential for your project, you should find a good one. You may want an architect who is both skilled and communicative. He/she must know what you want and how to do it perfectly.

Regarding finding an architect to design your home, there are some factors you should consider.


First, you need to choose the paying method for your architect. As aforementioned, there are four alternatives for you to choose from.

Besides, in some cases, architects are the ones who offer how they want to charge.

After you both agree on the payment method, you have to work on the fee.

How much will your architect get after he’s finished the project? Can you bargain for a discount?

The price has its value. It would be best to pay an architect a rate he deserves. You’ll get a satisfying outcome at the end.

Search on Websites and Magazines

Where to find a good architect? You may see architects’ creations in home design publications and on their websites too. They typically provide information about the architects’ overall framework to assignments and their contact details.

You can look for architects by zip code on sites like or These sites allow you to filter your search with particular characteristics.

The American Institute of Architects branch in your neighborhood can also support you. The membership list of several state chapters may be available on their websites.

It would be best to take your time to go through the websites of a few possible architects once you’ve narrowed down your list. You may check through their portfolios and discover more about their design concept and approach.

Ask Your Acquaintances

Don’t overlook words of mouth, especially when they’re from your acquaintances. They are the best reviews ever.

Your friends will introduce some qualified architects or even the ones they used to work with.

Your friends can also give some advice on where to find and how to test an architect.

Even if your friends had bad experiences on their projects, they could also recommend valuable tips to avoid mistakes and problems.

However, the architect that worked on your friend’s assignment might not be the best fit for you. You may have a unique set of requirements, and you are the only one to comprehend what you really need.

There are more tips in choosing an architect in this video. Watch it for more beneficial information.

Questions to Ask An Architect Before Hiring

After choosing some architects with the approaches above, it’s time to have an interview. Asking some questions can help you know more about your partner.

Moreover, you may check to see if he can adapt to your requirements or not.

To optimize the result of your interview, try these questions.

Who would participate in your project from your company, and how do they engage?

Will you be meeting with a director to make initial plans and working with a project leader regularly? Will you work with a junior for smaller projects? Will this lower the fee?

While you may interview a director of the architectural company at first, he is unlikely to be the one with whom you’ll work the most. You should know which architect you’ll cooperate with.

What are three of the most likely difficulties you see in this project? How can we deal with them?

These questions allow applicants to showcase their knowledge and problem-solving skills. It also offers you a picture of what problems you could have in the future and whether you think this person will be able to help you handle them.

What may the changes during our construction be?

You’ll need to know the basic rules about how a modification request will affect the project’s timetable and budget.

Architects and house designers’ agreements may include wording dealing with the problem. However, it’s usually a good idea to speak things out first.

What exact designs could I expect?

An architectural project includes different phases. Each phase features its own set of plans. The expert may create some layouts and then some architectural designs in the early stages.

These sketches cover the house’s overall design objectives and possibilities, such as blending with its surroundings or how sunlight will affect particular areas.

Illustrations in the design process might then start to dig into the details, including plumbing or heating system.

From that point, more official building designs for architects and builders will show up. All necessary can come with a fundamental building drawing package.

For a more comprehensive set of building drawings, some designers or architects may charge an extra price.

Do you have any references I may contact?

Speaking with former customers helps you feel more confident in the one you’re considering.

When you know another client’s experience, you can imagine what the procedure might be like. Try to access projects that your architect has worked on if possible.

What fees do you charge?

Architects and construction designers have to know what cost you’re dealing with. Ensure that you understand what the price chart includes. Moreover, there are also some extra fees you need to know, such as engineering or city submission.

Final Thoughts

Can you design your own house without an architect? No one can deny the influence of an expert on a construction project.

However, while there are some situations where you need to hire an architect, you can feel free to go for other options in other cases.

If you decide on working with a pro, remember to ask for the complete working process and the service you can receive. Checking your partner’s ability at the beginning is also crucial for your project.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful.

Write a Comment