At New Avenue we are all about great value. In design and construction the hard way is usually the right way and that means the best value is often the more difficult and more expensive way.
This applies to architecture as much as any other part of the process.
Many people cut out an architect and trust the design to their own capabilities or to a contractor. The hope that you will save time and money is a shortsighted decision that can sound like a good idea at first, but it will typically make your project more costly and painful in the long run. This is a big mistake.
When hiring and architect for the first time, we recommend you consider these three reasons for hiring a professional designer or architect:
Reason #1: You want your home to be amazing. An architect with 10, 20 or even 30 years of experience and a creative ability is critical to creating a truly great design. An architect can make a good design great.
Reason #2: You studied anything other than architecture. Exposure to hundreds of photos on Houzz.com and Pinterest makes you a more informed and better client, it does not make you an architect. The skill required to manage the design, permitting and construction process starts with formal training, involves rigorous licensing and requires years or experience. An architect will typically require at least 100 hours of work to get a design and permits together. It may be 300+ hours of work if your project is larger and more complex. If you were to try this on your own it can easily take five or ten times as long. An experienced person can pull from decades of experience to create a better design and they can do it all in a fraction of the time it will take you.
Reason #3: You will probably make at least one big design mistake that you will see every time you look at your new space or new home. Even if you design something amazing on your own, one design mistake is something that will be built into the home and it may never go away. It is worth a few thousand dollars to avoid how a mistake like this will reduce the enjoyment of your home.
The super pragmatic perspective is to acknowledge that having an architect should save you from at least one major mistake and that alone will justify their entire fee.
At New Avenue our standard practice to incorporate an architect in all of our projects because of these three reasons. We mapped 300+ key steps in any residential addition, remodel, accessory dwelling or new home. Not all steps are essential but each step is a potential pitfall and an ally who can navigate and resolve the design challenges effectively creates a ton of value. You can review the New Avenue Design Agreement and specific role of an architect Here
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