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What Does a Residential Architect Do?

Design Services
Residential architects focus on creating homes that meet the needs and desires of their clients. Whether they’re designing a one-of-a-kind home or a large apartment complex, their designs should be stylish, safe and functional. They must consider prevailing building codes and safety issues as well as functionality matters such as floor plans and placement of outlets, in order to develop homes that function well.

A good residential architect should be collaborative and willing to think outside the box when working with a client. This is essential for successful projects.

Some residential architects specialize in a particular subset of this field, such as custom homes, or focusing on specific issues like green design. Others make generic plans that builders can use for many types of projects.

They can also work on restoration and renovation of existing structures, or even making credible replicas of architectural styles from the past.

Their training includes an education in the history and art of architecture as well as the mechanics of drafting, working with engineers and contractors, and negotiating with their clients to ensure that their designs meet the needs and expectations of all parties involved.

Typically, residential architects begin their careers in general architecture programs before narrowing down to residential architecture. They then take an internship before becoming licensed and starting their own practice.

Residential Architects Are Receptive to Every Need
A good residential architect is receptive to the fact that each client has a slightly different list of needs and expectations for their home. That said, they should be able to work within the constraints of a budget and the construction schedule.

The design process is an iterative one that requires ongoing decision making. During this phase, the architects’ role is to communicate their ideas and concerns clearly, and work with their client to find solutions that are both functional and elegant.

At the end of this phase, their work is to prepare final drawings and a specification for construction. Once these are completed, they then submit the plans to building control (or advise you on alternative routes if required) for approval.

After this point, the project is generally handed over to a contractor for build. Throughout the construction, your architects are the eyes and ears of your building team ensuring that work is being done according to your design intent, and that the finished product meets industry standards and local regulations.

They may periodically visit the construction site, review contractor submittals and shop drawings, and manage cost/time adjustments if necessary for your approval.

As a general rule, full architectural service covers all the design and construction stages of the project. This can be a complete design and build service, or a partial design and build service where your architect is only involved during the initial planning and submission phase.

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