Q: What do architects do?

A: Architects represent clients who want to build a construction project. They begin with design, follow through with systems coordination and construction documents (plans and specs), they assist owners with contractor bidding and contractual negotiations, and provide construction administration and project close-out assistance. An architect takes into account ALL aspects of design, including existing conditions, climate, effects of the sun and weather, soil conditions, and much more. An architect coordinates all disciplines of design (including landscape, structural, civil, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing design) into one cohesive project.



Q: What sort of training must someone have to practice as a licensed (registered) architect?

A: Don't be fooled by anyone. There are many designers claiming to be "architects," however this is strictly prohibited by law unless they have satisfied the state's registration requirements. One must go through a vigorous training program before he/she is granted the privilege of practicing architecture in any given state. They must complete a min. 5 year accredited college degree program, a minimum 3-4 year internship working in a registered architect's office, and must finally complete an intense 9-part, 40 hr., state registration examination.

All of these requirements have one important goal in mind..."to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public."



Q: My builder says he hired an architect to design my project, but I'm told that he's an "unlicensed architect." What does this mean?

A: There is no such thing as an "unlicensed" architect. When selecting an architect, be sure to confirm that they are actually "licensed" or "registered.". Anyone representing themselves with the title "Architect," or even using the term "Architectural Designer" is required by law to be a "registered architect." Most residential "designers" are not actually licensed, and therefore may not use this term in any form.



Q: What does "AIA" after an architect's name mean?

A: AIA stands for the "American Institute of Architects." This means that this person is a member of this voluntary organization which promotes our industry and helps to educate the public on the value of our profession. AIA members must stay on top of the most current technologies in our industry, since they require extensive continuing education requirements for it's members. More information can be obtained from their website at www.aia.org.



Q: How much does an architect cost?

A: This is the most common question we receive, but is also the most difficult to answer. Just as you would not ask your mechanic "How much will it cost to repair my car...?," without bringing your car in to the shop for a diagnostic check, you should not expect your architect to give you a proposed fee for services unless you provide some detailed information about your project...not only about the project's location, size, and nature, but also the scope of services that you expect or need from your architect. Many companies do not realize that the scope of services that each client needs is never the same from project to project. There is a wide range of services available with most firms, ranging from basic design and/or permit documents services, all the way up to full construction project services, which typically includes five phases of design and construction administration, involving the architect's intimate involvement with the project from early conception to project completion.

As you can imagine, full services fees will cost more than just a set of permit documents, however different projects and clients have different needs from this perspective. An architect's involvement in the entire design process can lead to very important value engineering savings in the field...and your construction cost savings can be substantial (sometimes even exceeding the difference in the fees you would have saved if trying to limit the design professional's scope).

Contact us today for an evaluation of your project and scope of professional services, and we will be happy to provide you with a very fair and reasonable proposal. Our committment is to provide you with the best service possible...our reputation depends on it.

For more information regarding the scope of services available from our office, please visit our SERVICES page.