Remodeling Scoop: Do You Need an Architect?

By: Allison Millar, Contributing Writer
In: Product review
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If you’re planning an extensive remodeling projects–a room addition or kitchen remodeling, for example–you probably know to hire a contractor. But, what about hiring an architect? Do you need one and is it worth the cost?

First, it helps to understand what architects do. They can provide a wide range of services, centered around conceptualizing and drawing the remodeling project. They can also provide insights into construction methods, energy usage and functionality issues.

One major benefit of hiring an architect is having someone help blend the old with the new. You’ve probably seen a room addition or large kitchen remodeling that stuck out like a sore thumb. Chance are they skipped the architect. If architectural appeal is important to you, hire an architect.

That’s not to say that every remodeling project needs an architect. Projects that work within the existing footprint or floor plan of the house sometimes don’t. But, if your project involves any of the following, talk with a few architects:

  • Tearing out walls
  • An addition
  • Reconfiguring the floor plan

Architectural Fees

So, what does it all cost, you ask? While fees can vary, here’s a ballpark:

  • $1,500 to $7,000 for drawings you need to submit to your zoning or building department.
  • $100 to $175 per hour or a percentage (often 8 to 12 percent) of the overall project cost for monitoring the construction. If cost is an issue, consider putting a cap on the hours.

Try this remodeling blog for more on how fees are determined.

Working with an architect can add plenty of value, but is a process you have to learn as part of your remodeling project. Shop around and ask plenty of questions because you want someone who understands your vision and can translate it into reality.

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  1. One Response to “Remodeling Scoop: Do You Need an Architect?”

  2. jamie
    Jan 5, 2011

    Many contractors can do the work of the architect (and most architects can’t do the work of the builder). Unless you really want a custom unique house, don’t spend the money on an architect, just hire a contractor with some design sense.

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