Is My Project Too Small For An Architect?
The Monday after a home show, I always feels like I’ve run a marathon. In actuality, I’ve spent three days walking around a ten by twenty foot booth. But during those three days I listen, answer questions, and explain what architects do. After answering the same questions and explaining the same process hundreds of times, my brain turns to mush!
But one thing I recognize, as I fight my way out of the fog, is that there is a misconception that exists in the general public. That misconception keeps countless numbers of homeowners from seeking the help they need to change an ordinary addition or renovation project into something extraordinary. It keeps many people from achieving their dreams for their home. What is it? That architects only work on million dollar homes.
To be fair, there are some architects that won’t talk to you unless you are spending over $500K on your project, but that’s not this architect. I am one of many residential architects who work for all kinds of people, on all kinds of projects, of all different sizes. We work on large projects, but we also work with regular people with ordinary homes who want to do something special and want to make the most out of what they have.
I don’t know how many times someone stopped in my booth, looked at pictures and said, “I’m just getting ideas. My project is too small. You wouldn’t want to work on it.”
I am always amazed when people think I won’t work on their project! So I ask them about it…Is your project important to you? Do you want to make the most of your construction dollars? Would you like to avoid making mistakes that you will have to live with as long as you have your home? Do you value good design?
Most respond positively to those questions. They don’t want to make mistakes if they can help it and they want to do something to their home that sets it apart from the rest of the neighborhood. Most people can tell when something has been designed well, but they don’t have the experience, training, or creativity to develop a design that will give them what they want within the budget they have. That is why everyone can benefit from working with an architect.
Most people believe that an architect will only be involved if they are hired to see the job all the way through construction. We, like many firms, offer full architectural services. We develop a design, produce construction documents, help bid out the project to contractors, and observe during construction. But we also offer flexible service options. We can provide as little or as much design assistance as our clients need. That can mean providing a design consultation, during which we offer design ideas and advise on what can and can not be done, or working hourly to develop a design concept.
So, to dispel the misconception, you don’t have to have a mansion or want to turn your house into one to hire an architect. If you value design, no matter how big or small your project is, there is at least one architect that values working with you!