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What is the Role of an Architect in Building a House?

An architect is a highly skilled and authorized individual tasked with structural design work for commercial and residential structures such as custom homes, hospitals, bridges, apartments and other structures.

They work in collaboration with other industry stakeholders such as contractors and engineers to bring to life the dreams and desires of their clients.

They do this while still paying attention to local building codes as well as environmental considerations. 

In addition to designing structural plans, architects are involved in an array of responsibilities that range from material sourcing and specifications, initial consultation and design phase, project management, obtaining permits, advisory to their clients, recommending and choosing various contractors collaborating with engineers and contractors to ensure the success of a project. 

Architects can design your new home

Material Sourcing and Specifications

An architect plays a key role in material sourcing and selection. Due to their deep understanding of the industry and experience, they know where to get the different building materials. Even though they may not be directly involved, they can help recommend some of the best material suppliers. Since they may be familiar to the suppliers, they may help their clients enjoy discounts and reduce the delivery timeframes. 

Initial Consultation and Design Phase

The primary role of an architect is coming up with the house design plan. To do this, they start by keenly listening to the client as they paint a picture of their dream home. With the right information at hand, the architect will then come up with some sketches of the house so that the client can have an idea of their dream home. They then retreat to their offices where they work on designing the design plan of the house. 

Project Management

While the architect may not be the primary project manager, their input goes a long way in streamlining the building process. This oversight helps in coming up with a functional home that does not only align with the vision of the client, but one that is considerate of the prevailing local building codes, zoning, and the integrity of the environment.  

Obtaining Permits

Sometimes obtaining the relevant permits and approvals for building a house is daunting process that involves moving from one office to another. This is especially true when you have to do it yourself. Since they are familiar with these departments and officials, architects can help streamline and speed up the process of obtaining them. At the same time, they can advise you what to do so that your project site passes the inspections by the relevant authorities. 

Implementing Changes and Addressing Challenges

It is common for homeowners to add changes to the initial design plan. For instance if a client comes across a certain popular trend in the industry, they will likely want to incorporate it in their dream home. An architect is always ready to accommodate such changes into the initial design plan without compromising on their client’s vision. Moreover, they are actively involved in addressing unforeseen challenges to ensure the process remains on course with the client’s vision. 

Advisory to Clients

Advisory to their clients is among the fundamental roles of an architect. Advisory comes in different forms that range from recommending features and fixtures, choosing contractors and engineers to suggesting and effecting design plan changes. They also assess the progress of the project and update their clients on what needs to be done to ensure the project remains on course and within the set budget. 

Recommending and Choosing Various Contractors

As a potential homeowner, you may not have adequate knowledge in choosing the right builders for your home. This is even after the necessary due diligence in vetting different companies. This is where an architect comes in, to recommend and help choose engineers, contractors and other stakeholders. Some architects have designated electricians, plumbers and mechanical engineers and speed dial so you do not have to look far. 

Collaboration with Engineers and Contractors

In addition to designing the house plan and blueprints, architects also collaborate with engineers, contractors and other stakeholders. This is aimed at ensuring the project remains on course, is within the budget and that building codes and local regulations are adhered to. 

Having seen the many roles played by an architect, it is conclusive to say that they are the backbone to the success of building a house. Getting the right architect from the onset will ensure that everything else runs smoothly going forward. Working with a highly experienced and licensed architect ensures local building codes, environmental considerations and vision of a client are adhered to during the entire process.