Architectural design services can be an important asset in the construction process. Whether you’re building a home or a new business, an architect can offer you valuable insights into the design process and help ensure that the finished project will meet your vision. When it comes to choosing an architect, it’s essential to choose someone who has experience in your specific project type.
Architects are generally charged a percentage of the project’s total cost, based on the size of the project and its complexity. They can charge a fixed fee or an hourly rate, depending on the client’s needs. A flat fee for a one-story residential building could be in the neighborhood of $200-$500 per square foot.
In addition to providing architectural design services, architects also do quality control and construction administration. This process can be complicated, involving many different agencies and entities, such as the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Protection. Having an architect’s guidance can help avoid costly mistakes.
The first part of the architectural design process is the schematic design. This is a rough draft of the building that captures some of the most important details, including the building’s shape and exterior features. It may not include all the details needed to make the final product the best it can be.
Architects will then begin the design development phase. During this stage, they will bring in engineering staff and other professionals to assist with the design of the building. These professionals will help to define the building’s structure, while also designing the systems that will run the building, such as electrical, heating, ventilation and energy analysis. Finally, they will produce the detailed drawings that are necessary to obtain Building Department approval.
For more complex projects, architects may even provide additional services, such as construction management. Many architects will also perform periodic site visits.
During the design development stage, architects and their clients agree on the direction of the building. Oftentimes, the client will provide a list of spaces that need to be included. As they work through the design process, they will choose products, such as interior finishes and other features. Depending on the size and scope of the project, this will take anywhere from a couple of weeks to two or more months.
The architect may also provide additional information, such as a 3D model of the final product. This can be helpful in marketing the firm and its services. Additionally, it can also increase sales.
Other services may be offered at a fixed or a percentage of the cost. Some architects will offer an FFE (First-Final-Engineered) design for a set fee. There are also architects who charge a flat fee, regardless of the number of hours required to complete the project. Regardless of the service, be sure to read the contract thoroughly.
The most important aspect of the architectural design process is to analyze the client’s needs. If you understand their wishes, you’ll be able to better guide them through the construction process.