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When to Hire an Architect for a Remodel

You love your home—but you’re ready to make some big changes. We’re not talking about your weekend DIY paint job, we’re talking room additions, structural changes, and maybe even removing a wall or two. 

That means it’s time to bring in the professionals. While you’ll definitely need a contractor to execute your project, figuring out whether you need an architect is a little trickier. Some experienced contractors are able to handle a remodel from start to finish, so is paying for an architect really necessary? Let’s find out.

Here’s how you know it’s time to hire an architect: 

  • The cost of the remodel is more than 5% of your home’s value. There are certain projects that can change the appearance of your home, but don’t inherently change the structure of the space. Projects like installing new  cabinets or countertops, replacing the flooring, or installing large-scale features like a fireplace or new tub. 

Because these projects do not change the floorplan of your home and are relatively inexpensive, a contractor is usually more than qualified to get the job done. But if your project could dramatically impact the property value of your home by adding rooms or fundamentally changing the original layout, it’s time to contact an architect. 

  • You want to increase the property value of your home and/or resale your home for a higher price. Remember, projects that could dramatically raise the value of your home are considered major remodels—especially if they completely rearrange the layout of your home.

While there are some highly experienced contractors that can build you a new kitchen or main bedroom and en suite from the ground up, architects create designs that ensure your home maintains it’s value. Contractor created designs don’t always match the overall flow of your home, and could turn off future buyers who don’t want to live with an untrained individual’s design decisions. Using an architect for major remodels ensures that not only is the job done correctly, it’s aesthetically pleasing as well. 

  • You want a detail-oriented liaison between you and your contractor. Without an architect, you are responsible for communicating with your contractor about every aspect of your project, and making every design decision. An architect helps ensure the overall design vision of the project is maintained from start to finish.

An architect can be especially helpful if you are planning a project with a specific aesthetic or design requirements. For example, if you’re hoping to use sustainable materials and energy-efficient technology throughout your home, hiring an architect with experience in that area of construction can be particularly useful. Architects in specialized fields can also help put you in contact with contractors and other professionals needed to reach your construction goals. 

Whether you decide to hire an architect, contractor, or both, Home Planning Hawaii can help you find the right professionals for your job. Contact us today to get started, and don’t forget to check out our free online estimator to begin the budgeting process!