It seems pretty basic, but in these tight economic times, people are questioning every expense, and that includes building costs. Architects are known for their design abilities, but is that all they do? So, why hire an architect? I've been asked recently to discuss with a new building committee the value architects bring to a building program. They are being asked by congregation members and would like to have a good answer.
Simply put, the building process is risky and the architect is your expert guide. Imagine you were dropped down in a dark jungle near the Amazon River. (It could be any wild, forbidding place, I just think the Amazon is really scary 'cause of the man-eating piranhas). Just wandering around may eventually get you back safely, but you'll almost certainly encounter some serious difficulties and have some pretty unpleasant experiences. Unless you are a survival expert, you need a guide to navigate past all the dangers.
The building process can be a jungle. The commercial building process is especially challenging. Literally hundreds of decisions must be made, and made in the right sequence. Any one wrong decision may be costly, in dollars, delay or just simple aggravation. In the worst case, serious defects or a complete shutdown can occur. An owner, especially a congregation or non-profit responsible for donated funds, can suffer greatly from a failed building program. We know, we've been brought in at times to fix all kinds of mistakes!
The Oklahoma AIA has a great resource on the subject. They list three big reasons to hire an architect. The architect: 1. saves you money, 2. solves problems, 3. makes your life easier.
How bad can it get without an architect? Well, something as simple as balcony couldn't be so difficult, could it? Check out these images of silly failures for a laugh (at some poor owner's expense).
Your architect is your expert from the earliest stages of the building program through the completion of construction and beyond. We work entirely for you, independent of any construction interest, government agency, or product supplier. Oh, and about those design abilities. That's the real bonus of hiring an architect. We really love to make things beautiful.