Architect vs Home Designer ?  Which One Should You Choose?

architect vs designer meetingArchitect vs Home Designer:

You’re finally ready to begin designing your dream home.  You know you need house plans (or blueprints) before construction can begin.  So, you have a choice:  should you employ an architect or a designer?  What’s the difference in an Architect vs Home Designer?  Let’s take a look.

There are many similarities between the two professions.  Both architects and designers (sometimes referred to as “residential designers”) are involved in designing the basic components of buildings—their outward appearance, floor plan, materials used, etc.  Quality designers and architects alike understand, and adhere to, state and local building codes.  Both should be able to produce high-quality house plans, which can be used to build your home.

So, what is the biggest difference between architects and home designers? At the most basic level, an architect designs all kinds of buildings while most designers will have a few areas of focus.  Architects are typically trained in all types of design with many types of structures.  They will focus on how each structure will be used by its intended inhabitants, and ensure the design will be up to the challenge of holding up over time and with the loads or stresses placed on the building. Often an architect will design a preliminary structure, then employ the help of a structural engineer for the more challenging designs.  Most designers have one or a few areas of expertise in which they excel.  For example, our team of designers and engineers is highly skilled in the design of log and timber homes.  While they have the ability (and several have the work history and experience) to design all types of residential home, they have narrowed their focus to this specific niche, and they do well with it.  Once the design is established, the engineering team will re-check the plan to ensure the building will hold up to the stresses, and the structure will not have issues as time progresses.

Blueprints and homeownerBoth architects and designers should able to use the latest in home design technology to quickly and expertly produce top-quality blueprints.  In some situations, the architect will draw their own homes, but many use drafters to complete this end of the project, while they are required to oversee this process. There is a good deal of overlap between the two professions, and the product you will receive should be very similar.

Whether you choose a home designer or an architect, remember to look not only at his qualifications but also at his work.  Request to see other designs he has done.  Ask for references from previous customers.  Find out how long he has been designing homes, and if he has any experience in the construction industry or building trades.  No matter whether you are working with an architect or a designer, both should provide you with consistent, high-quality work, and should be someone you respect and feel you can trust with your investment.