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Why We Love Architects

In the remodeling industry, sometimes architects and design build firms just don’t get along. But we love working with architects, and here’s why.

Working with an architect who knows how plans actually get built is the best of all worlds. It can be in-house architects or outside architects – they just need to work with us enough to know our people and processes. Once we have that relationship, every aspect of the remodeling project seems to deliver a great experience for our clients and a great result.

Why is it important for architects to know what happens during construction? It means they understand first-hand how even small bits of information that are missing from plans can cause major confusion and delays while the carpenter, project manager or subcontractors try to figure things out. Architects with this experience tend to be more proactive in making their plans clear and complete. They enjoy more control over the final project, and the construction crew enjoys avoiding problems and staying on schedule.

Another thing we like about “construction savvy” architects is their awareness of how their designs relate to the cost of construction. Sometimes, for instance, architects will add something extra to a design that’s an innovative use of materials or a novel way to shape a space. Even the smallest flourish, however, can often add a lot of extra labor (and thus extra cost) to construction. Architects who are more in touch with construction, however, can anticipate how design work will affect the cost of the project and, if the impact isn’t worth the extra cost, they can rework the design to achieve the desired impact in a less labor-intensive way.

In addition, we love architects who specialize in the types of projects we do. While architects can in theory do any type of project, it’s always best to match them with projects with which they have the most experience. That way, if you’re remodeling a single-family home, the architect is already up to speed on building code and the types of problems that need to be solved in working with certain types of homes and lots. It’s the same with commercial space – it’s best to use an architect who specializes in commercial design.

So if design build firms don’t have “harmony” working with architects, it might be that they’re just working with architects who aren’t the right fit for their firm. For us, it seems to be a win all around – for us, our clients, the architect, and for the finished remodel.

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