Should You Use An Architect Or Just A General Contractor

Whether you are building a new house or remodeling something in your existing one, you will need the expertise of architects, designers and contractors.

But property owners often get confused as to who will get the best job done and what choices will help them save money. To answer all these questions, it is necessary to understand the role of every player involved in construction projects and hire one based on your requirements.

  • Role of an architect

An architect is basically the mastermind behind your project- be it residential or commercial. An architect chalks out the plans and structure of what you wish to create. The architect can design your home, building, or office space keeping in mind your wishes as well as local safety requirements. The blueprints and drawings created by the architect can easily help a contractor understand what will be needed to complete your project; be it material, labor, or permissions.

  • Role of a contractor

While an architect may work remotely and probably visit the construction site only a few times, a contractor works on site. Contractors are responsible for making the entire project come to life, and take care of every step; right from acquiring the necessary local permits and material supplies, to employing labor and overseeing plumbing, carpentry and electrical work.

These days, many contractors offer in-house designing services as well, so you do not need to hire an architect separately.

  • Your objective

Whether you need an architect, or a general contractor depends on the project planned. In case you are getting a house, or a commercial space constructed from the ground level, you will need both of them, which means architects working with general contractor. But if you are just renovating a small part of your house, like a bathroom or the kitchen, you could work with just a contractor.

It is possible that hiring an architect, will give you a broader approach, more creative ideas and options that fit your space and budget. Contractors could sometimes work with what they know or have from before, and not invest much on personalizing your project. But this is subjective and also depends on the people you choose to work with.

  • Legal and local requirements

No matter what your project is, it has to be compatible with all the local safety and security regulations. A contractor has experience in dealing with the local authorities to acquire these permits and also has sound knowledge of all that is needed. You do not want to end up with issues and complaints after construction is complete. Contractors will also be able to tell you what can and cannot be done, in case you start going overboard with your ideas.

  • Budget

Your project budget plays a big role in who you employ to complete each task and what the end result will be. Construction managers suggest that any low budget and low sized project can be done using just a contractor. But if your project costs anything more than 5% of your home’s value, get an architect on board as well.