We live in a Do-It-Yourself culture these days. Especially when it comes to saving money. More often in the construction process, many people will cut design services to save money. While we understand the need for saving, cutting design services can actually cost you in the long run. I will briefly touch on the top three financial advantages of hiring an architect for your next construction project.
1. Information is Everything!
Imagine you ask your neighbor for a quote to put together a dresser from Ikea and when they ask for the installation manual, you say "I don't have one". That person is more likely to give you a quote for more labor hours than if you were to send him the installation manual to review. This is obviously a small scale example but architecture works in the same way. Design is one part inspiration and one part information. Too little information often yields inaccurate bids. Furthermore, architectural drawings help contractors identify the client's design goals, whether it be an emphasis on integrated mechanical systems or custom cabinetry or clean lines and open spaces.
2. Don't Put the Negotiator & Decision Maker in the Same Room!
I had a client tell me this once and I thought it was pretty smart. As an Architect, I am usually the negotiator between the contractor and the owner. The advantage here is that as a design professional, I can offer third party expertise in controlling budgets and costs. Building a home is sort of like buying a car, but continuously for 3, 6, sometimes 9 months. If the contractor needs to make changes, you may feel pressure to increase your budget, the same way you sometimes feel pressure to add a sunroof or leather seats. Now imagine yourself in this situation with a third party who can creatively address challenges without the need to increase your budget. Sorry - contractors - you aren't all car salesmen!
3. Small Budgets can have the Most Unique Design Solutions!
Some of the most inspiring projects are often the ones with small budgets. Doing a lot with a little is the root of what we do as design professionals. If given the opportunity, Architects can transform your modest idea into a powerful one without increasing your budget. Our holistic approach to design solutions can you save you money because we think about how project behaves and operates in the early stages of design, eliminating the need for costly adjustments half way through construction. We recently saved a client over $20,000 in construction costs by assisting in materials research. Our fee for the entire project was less than that amount we saved her. Smart planning will always save you money.