Blog - Providing Insight into Residential Architecture and Construction

An Architect’s Role

Home Improvement on a BudgetDuring casual conversations, when we tell people that we are Architects, it is usually met with an incredulous look and (an often humbling) a squeal of delight for having met people from such a seemingly enigmatic profession.

And, when answering the standard inquiry, “So…you design buildings?”, we often find ourselves opting to answer with a simple “Yes”- and trying to shift the conversation to a new topic. But, that’s a very loaded question and too simple of an answer. Yes, we design buildings, but there’s a whole range of services an Architect provides to move a conceptual idea from trace paper or a computer screen to something physical and occupiable.

A good Architect understands a client’s lifestyle and needs, and it is this knowledge that produces successful architecture that exceeds the client’s expectations. Before the first sketch is even a thought, an Architect will sit down with a client and just talk. Conversations will be geared toward gaining an understanding of the client’s routine, identifying needs that can be met, and establishing what kinds of spaces are desired.

After these initial consultations, an Architect will proceed to perform field measurements and observations, and prepare design schemes that meet the local zoning laws, within the stated budget. To convey the design intention, an Architect will prepare plans, sections, elevations and three-dimensional visualizations to present to the client, and to use as coordination tools with consultants.

As Architects, we are responsible to creatively design for our client’s lifestyle, while having the knowledge of how to turn our marks on paper into real construction. So, after finalizing the design, an Architect will proceed to prepare detailed construction documents. One of an Architect’s most helpful attributes is to serve as the client’s voice during the construction process to ensure that the desired expectation is reflected in the built output. An Architect will guide a client when selecting a contractor and provide construction administration services - which evolve periodic on-site construction observations – to ensure the project remains on track.

Getting an Architect involved in your construction project at an early stage will reduce headache and cost while opening up more design opportunities. So, yes, an Architect does design buildings, but there are many necessary steps to complete in order to develop and refine the design solution, and much to oversee while the project is being constructed.

Please feel free to add thoughts in the comment section below!