People love to share their renovation war stories. It’s rare to go to a dinner party where guests aren’t commiserating about the cost of construction, delays, and budget woes. When I hear these things, my first question is, “Did you use an architect?” and the answer is almost always a resounding “no”. If only they knew how much trouble using an architect could save them. Construction is not something you can make up as you go along, so a thoughtful and complete plan is a requirement.
While it may seem optional to hire an architect, the process of working with them will help you save time in the end. Professional architects and builders are experienced in dealing with local authorities and construction. Navigating the permitting process to get approvals to build can be tricky, so having someone help you along can greatly reduce those headaches.
Additionally, an architect will help you make timely and cost-conscious design decisions. Making choices about everything from faucets to floors up front will help you stay on time and on budget. Agonizing over a backsplash could cost you a month in construction time by creating an installation scheduling conflict. Further, blueprints can help you truly visualize all of your design choices and then you can plan the costs accordingly. A good budget can keep sticker shock at bay. Finding out your construction loan is inadequate halfway through a project is a recipe for stress. It’s no fun to live in a house you can’t afford.
The cost of good drawings may seem like a luxury, but I can assure you that they will pay for themselves in the end. Less stress, quicker construction, and peace of mind are all worth the investment.