Architect or Building Designer: Which to Choose?

April 20, 2022
architect or building designer

Building designers contribute to the design of interior features. They influence space flow, style, and material selection. Architects develop detailed drawings of the construction to meet the set standards.

So, which property expert should one choose? Keep reading for a decisive discussion on the matter.

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What is an architect, and what does he do?

An architect is a trained professional who organises both internal and outside space. They create drawings, plans, and renderings for your project. They can also determine a realistic budget and help in the council planning processes. Their networks are crucial in getting material and labor quotations. Architects can also supervise consultants during the construction or renovation phase.

Here is what to expect when you hire an architect:

  • The architect will speak with the stakeholders to learn about their requirements. They later provide computer-aided models, blueprints, plans, and the proposed exterior design renderings.
  • Their designs should include specs and measurements for the entire structure. These encompass function, shape, safety, and energy-saving elements.
  • Architects will draft contractor contracts and investigate building codes to guarantee compliance.
  • Supervising the construction and keeping track of the project’s progress.
  • Redraw the plans if there are changes to the structure or design, which is common during any project.

An architect may also advise you on the best location for your home. They inform on the floorplan to take advantage of views, sunlight, shade, and aspect. Some clients might not have the time or expertise.

The professional can manage all aspects of your project, from start to completion. Architects all charge differently for different jobs. They consider the components of the project you have and how long they will run. What an architect charges reflects their experience as well.

architect or building designer

A professional architect must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a proper tertiary education/degree in architecture;
  • Have the requisite liability insurance;
  • Be registered as an architect with their state or territory’s governing architecture authority.

What does a building designer do?

A building designer can come from various design backgrounds. They are also known as a draftsman in other circles.   Some may have architectural degrees or expertise but aren’t registered as an architect. This could include people who have degrees in architecture or building design but have no legal registration.

Many former builders go on to become architects. It’s worth mentioning that any work done by a building designer must adhere to local building and planning standards. If not, it will not be erected at all.

A designer provides identical design and documentation services as an architect. Some of their roles could even be similar.

Role of building designer

The job description of a building designer might include:

  • Sketching building plans.
  • Estimating labor and material requirements and expenses.
  • Checking compliance with building codes and conditions.
  • Preparing necessary documentation

Building designers can either work for a builder or directly for a customer. Anyone can work as a building designer, regardless of their qualifications or credentials. Building designers are not required to register or get a license.

Anyone can regard themselves as a building designer and work as one. It’s important to note that the work must comply with building and planning requirements.  A certified professional must also append their signature to it.

Why would you hire a building designer?

  • Homeowners who want to remodel or make renovations to their interior spaces.
  • Rendering of household blueprints and 3D images of valuable and appealing interior designs. They could also advise on trends, cost, furniture and materials for the design.
  • Where permits are required.
  • Be in charge of the design’s construction and implementation.

Some designers work for contractors. They may offer a whole remodeling package, from design to painting. This could be more pocket friendly and reduce risk to property owners.

architect or building designer

A beautiful architect design?

What does it cost to hire an architect or a building designer?

When it comes to the expense, property owners always want to get value for money. . The cost varies depending on who you hire, the home’s design, aesthetics, function, and performance. A building designer fee scale might range from 3-5 percent of construction expenses. 

An architect will charge 7-10 percent of the total construction costs. Some reputable boutique architects charging even more.

For argument’s sake, a building designer would charge $18,000 to $30,000 for a $600,000 project. An architect might charge $42,000 to $60,000 for the same.

Draftsman vs Architect

Both pros can produce remarkable results when it comes to design. Yet, building designers are better suited to less expensive and smaller projects. We recommend architects for larger projects and developments.

An architect has more experience, is certified, and is capable of giving a higher level of detailed design. An architect’s design is very comprehensive.

Hire an architect if you want to build something bespoke. A development might need unusual or challenging design features or fittings. Hire a building designer if you want a small to medium project. It will be well-designed, functional, and attractive. You might still need input from a registered and licensed architect.

How to decide between an architect and a building designer

When deciding between an architect and a building designer, also consider:

  • Their design style. A professional might lean more towards a certain architectural style.
  • Look at their previous projects and experience.
  • Reputability. Are they known to deliver a project within the set timelines?
  • Consider the scope, size, and difficulty of your project as well.

Architects and building designers appear to rely on one another to produce a well-designed building. Both bring different qualities to the table, which is essential to a successful design. For structure and need interior design help, you need the services of a building designer.

In the future, you might want to construct your own house from the ground up. We recommend hiring an architect.

Architects and building designers are creative experts instrumental to a house’s design. They both bring valuable skills to the table on home design.

Draftsman vs Architect

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