Even though general contractors, home builders and architects all work within the same industry, they are not the same job. Each title has its own set of skills, training and licensing requirements, and each is just one piece of the project’s puzzle. With this in mind, let’s take a brief look at the differences between each of these professions.
A general contractor is a construction professional who is capable of performing a variety of construction services. They may or may not specialize in specific jobs. For new home builds, a general contractor works with an architect.
This is a company that specializes in the construction of private residences, such as custom homes, prefabricated homes or pre-drawn out home designs. A home builder generally oversees the entire building process.
Different from general contractors and home builders, architects are the professional who design buildings and spaces. They are not usually involved in the actual construction process. This profession requires a college degree in architecture and a valid license in their state.
Read on for the most important things to consider before choosing an architect to work with. Here’s a guide to finding an architect for a remodel in San Diego County, CA:
Do research: Start by narrowing down your options. Go online and search for architects in your area. Check their websites and read online reviews from past clients so you can get a feel for their abilities and design aesthetics. The best architects in the business have online portfolios for potential clients to browse to get a better idea of their work.
Get recommendations and referrals: The people you know who have completed projects similar to yours will have information and experience that can be valuable to you. Find out whether they would recommend a particular architect, and why. Ask about their work ethic, ability to communicate and anything else you’re curious to know.
Additionally, you can ask the architect for referrals. Talking to past clients is a great way to figure out whether an architect is right for you.
Compare pricing: Most architects charge based on square footage, rather than an hourly rate. Get calculations from architects or their websites, and run some calculations yourself. Always be upfront about the budget for your project to avoid issues later.
Check availability: Architects are busy people. With this in mind, understand that their availability could change as their schedules fill up. Timelines could also change due to factors like weather, client budget and material supplier delays. If you have specific start and completion dates in mind, make sure the architect has the availability before hiring them.
Plan a meet and greet: Finally, schedule an in-person meeting with each potential architect. Get a feel for them, and ask any questions you have on your mind.
Starting a big home project can be intimidating, but the right architect can help move things in the right direction. Don’t hesitate to call Sumac Construction for information about the building process or to discuss luxury home plans in San Diego County, CA!