Thursday, January 28, 2010

Residential Architect vs. Builder


Residential Architect vs. Builder

If we approach the issue from the educational and experience points, we may find some insight. A builder, by default, will typically approach a design from a construction point of view and rely on his past homebuilding to design a home. The main missing component is the ability to approach residential design from the educated planning and overall vision. Architects are trained for years to understand space, function, standards, building methods, budgets, client needs and tend to approach each challenge with these experiences in mind. Even though a contractor may know a quicker and better way to construct a bay window, he or she may ignore issues like proportion, window configuration and trim details that are important to the overall home design because they are not even considered.

I hear from construction professionals all the time that architects should work in construction for 5 years before going to architecture school. This, in theory, sounds great, however it would then take a total of 13-15 years before an architect could be eligible for licensing! Architects learn in their early years from older mentors and from visiting construction sites. It takes time to develop knowledge of construction and it is up to each individual architect, whether they are residential architects, resort architects or commercial architects, to develop these skills. In most of my experience when a contractor sends me a request for information, we “both” bring our experience to bear on the problem. With egos aside, problems are usually solved quickly to both parties satisfaction.

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