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  • Writer's pictureTimothy Hill

The Right Tool


This may surprise you to hear this from a registered architect, but not every job requires a licensed professional. I know what you’re thinking. Why would someone write a blog that says I don’t need their service? The answer is simple. It’s because it is sometimes true and as a licensed architect, I am bound by professional ethics to help clients identify their goals.


Here are a few cases where an architect is not needed:

  • Residential design (some exceptions apply)

  • Agricultural buildings

  • Exterior improvements like roofing, siding, gutters & downspouts, etc.

There are times when hiring an architect can be like “killing a gnat with a shotgun.” The level of service may be out of proportion with the job cost. For example, you probably wouldn’t want to pay $5k for a drawing of a deck if it only cost $25k to build. When the construction gets to be around $100k or more however, it starts to be a good idea to think about allocating a small percentage to hiring an architect.


Good drawings describe your building project in a way that pays for the service of design many times over in the long run:

  1. First off, good drawings facilitate communication with building inspectors who will review your project & ensure your project meet code.

  2. Second, if your project is financed, then good drawings can save you untold amounts of time answering questions. Once investors see detailed drawings, my experience has been that the questions stop & financing is approved.

  3. Finally, good drawings help builders & suppliers to do proper material takeoffs & estimates which lead to better orders which lead to better deliveries which all helps to keep your job on time & on budget & with a certain level of quality it may not otherwise have.

The point is, if you start the project off in the right way (i.e. proper planning), then you will be prepared to weather the storms when they come. Storms can come in the form of delays or long lead times, labor shortages, or actual storms (i.e. weather conditions). Good drawings can give you a clear & solid vision to come back to once the storms pass so you can remobilize & motor through to accomplish your goals.


So please don’t hire an architect when it’s not necessary, but if it is required, then I hope this blog will help you understand the value that a licensed professional can provide.

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