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House Designers and Architects

Home designers and architects are trained at designing homes and they can help create efficient and functional floor plans. They also help create visually appealing interiors and exteriors for a home.

Before hiring an architect or home designer, it is a good idea to see if you can find an existing stock plan that will suit your needs. You can usually purchase detailed stock blueprints for a few hundred dollars. If you find a stock plan that comes close to your needs, you can change it to better suit your needs. It costs much less to make a few changes to an existing plan than to create a plan from scratch. Companies that sell house plans typically offer services to modify the blueprints or you can hire your own designer to make changes.

The cost to hire an architect ranges from 5% to 15% to the cost of a house. A full service architect takes care of designing, drafting, determining materials, handling competitive bidding, and overseeing work progress. If you are building a very customized home then you may need the services of a full service architect.

Home Designers offer fewer services and cost less than architects. If you don't need all the services of an architect then working with a home designer can be a way to reduce the cost of designing a home.

Although home designers usually have less educational background than architects, some home designers design more houses than architects because architects often are move involved in commercial construction than home construction. Because of this, some home designers may be able to do a better job at designing a home. Home designers usually concentrate on traditional and mainstream designs that are easier to build. If you have special engineering requirements or unique design preferences than you may need to hire an architect. Most people's needs can be handled by a home designer.

When you contact an architect or home designer, ask them about their fee structures. Also, ask them if they have errors and omissions insurance. That insurance can help cover your losses if an architect or designer makes a mistake when designing your home. Try to see if your personalities work well together. You will likely be spending a lot of time with the person who will be designing your home. It is important to be able to effectively communicate with each other. Try to access how interested the architect or designer is in your project. Also be sure they have time available to commit to your

At your first meeting, view their portfolio of past work. Does the style of their work suit your interests and preferences? Some architects or designers are comfortable working in many different styles and their portfolio will demonstrate that. Some architects and designers are more specialized. It is best to hire someone whom you like their style of work, rather than trying to make someone work in ways that they are not accustomed to.

Someone who has a variety of work may be better to choose if you have a more difficult situation. For example, if you are building on difficult site then try to find someone who has created homes on difficult sites. If you want to use some non-standard construction technique (such as straw bale construction) then look for an architect or designer who has experience in designing homes for the construction technique you want to use.

If you like the architect's or designer's work then ask for references and contact the people who have worked with the architect in the past. If possible, see if the references will let you view their finished home. It is best to talk to references without the architect or designer present because this may let a reference be more comfortable in telling you what they really think about the architects work.

To find a good designer or architect a commercial architectural firm may be able to tell who good home designers are. Home builders may also be able to tell you who good home designers or architects are.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) is the trade organization of architects.

A home designer who has an AIBD designation has satisfied the certification guidelines of the American Institute of Building Designers. AIBD is a professional organization for home designers. When choosing a home designer it may be a good idea to look for a designer who has an AIBD designation.

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