Do I Need an Architect for My Sycamore Remodel?

When you think of remodeling your home in Northern Illinois, there are no doubt a few primary players who come to mind, including the general contractor, various tradespeople, and the construction crew. For some homeowners, there is one other professional to consider: an architect.

The question is, when does a home remodel actually require an architect? The short answer: It depends, but if you’re working with a Design-Build Remodeler like Ken Spears Construction, you don’t need to hire an outside architect. In this blog we’ll discuss when you should invest in professional architectural services and when you can skip the extra costs and headache of adding professional architect services. To answer that question, it helps to know what an architect can contribute to your home improvement project and how much their services generally cost in Sycamore, Illinois.

What Does an Architect Do?

In order to become an architect, a person must get at least a bachelor’s degree—or master’s degree—in architecture before completing a set number of hours in the field and acquiring a license. They are highly trained in engineering, building design, and ergonomics and you can expect all that training to be evident in the price it costs to hire an architect.

A professional architect handles a range of responsibilities in regards to designing your home renovation, such as drafting plans and creating technical drawings for a space that is safe, functional, and attractive. They help you flesh out your ideas for the project and explore what is realistic for your anticipated budget. The downfall of the architect working on your home without the collaboration of your remodeling team is that sometimes drawings cannot physically match what is feasible to build. That’s one of the benefits of working with a design build remodeler, everyone you need from design to completion is in-house and working together to bring your dream home to life.

Cost of Hiring an Architect in Northern Illinois

The cost to hire an architect for your home renovation project in DeKalb or Kane county depends on their fee structure and which of their services you enlist. Generally, you should expect to pay the architect about 10% to 20% of your total construction cost, although each firm determines how they specifically charge clients for their services. Most architects and architectural designers charge per hour or per square foot. Others will ask for a percentage of the total project price. 

Hiring a separate architect can skew your remodeling budget and have you paying 20% more for your remodel than you anticipated. These professional architecture costs may also mean you have to scale back on other areas of your remodel to fit in your budget. Signing a contract with a Design-Build firm will allow you to work with the same team who knows and can stick to your budget and make sure you get the home you want. We know what is feasible for your home and we know we can create the space we agree upon.

Do I Need an Architect for My Sycamore Remodel

Questions to Ask an Architect

If you’re still considering hiring a professional architect, it’s important to put them through a vetting process (You can also ask your design-build remodeler these same questions). To help you determine whether you want to hire a particular architect—or any architect, for that matter—here are a few questions to ask:

  • Which responsibilities related to the remodel will you oversee?
  • What is your approach to choosing and buying fixtures and finishes and collaborating with me during that process?
  • What is your strategy for keeping a residential remodel of this size on budget and on time?
  • Which method(s) of communication do you offer for me to stay in touch throughout the project?
  • What role will you play in selecting a general contractor? Can we all meet on site every week once construction is underway?
  • What unique solutions have you suggested for homeowners on previous projects?
  • What is your approach to solving problems and handling conflict?
  • Do you have a list of references I can contact?

Getting answers to these and other questions can assist you in determining which Northern Illinois architect or design-build remodeler is the right fit for your project and what sort of value they’ll contribute.

When is an Architect Unnecessary?

Although architects can be useful for numerous types of commercial and residential remodeling projects, there are some cases where it’s not necessary, especially as it adds another substantial cost to your renovation budget.

Additionally, you can hire a residential remodeler that uses a design-build process, eliminating the need for an architect and giving you a single point of contact for the entire project. If you hire a design-build remodeler  your plans and drawings will all be made in house. Similarly, if you plan to do a smaller remodel and don’t significantly change the structure or layout of your home, your design-build remodeler can help you at each step of the process.

Design Build Remodelers also handle both building design and construction, starting with an initial consultation at your house to get a better understanding of your space and vision for the remodel. From there, the design-build team takes measurements, starts drafting design ideas, and gathering your feedback as the plan evolves. They also handle the process of selecting fixtures and finishes, which is a large part of what architects do.

Remodeling Your Home in Northern Illinois

For homeowners in DeKalb and Kane counties, a design-build approach to remodeling streamlines the process and improves communication along the way. At Ken Spears Construction, we have established relationships with tradespeople and suppliers and our own architectural designers, alleviating the need for you to bring other professionals onboard. We provide all the services you need to renovate your house and keep the project both on schedule and on budget.

Greg Spears

Greg is the President as well as the production coordinator for Ken Spears Construction and loves helping others improve their lives and space with modern, beautiful spaces. Some of his favorite home construction memories include all of the different people he’s gotten to work with throughout the years.

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