If you have never built before, the prospect can be either exciting or daunting, or more typically, both!  Architects can, indeed, make your life easier when it comes to the designing/building process. Architects create the documents, drawings and specifications that define the work to be done, and are therefore in the best position to understand the project as a whole.

As an overview, an architects training and experience, give him/her the capacity to define, coordinate, and supervise every aspect of the project from conceptual development to the finish details of the building. An architects training involves five to eight (or more) years of professional schooling, at least 3 years of apprenticeship for a working architectural firm, and a rigorous four-day exam. The architects' license charges architects, in the name of public health, safety and welfare, to bring the same professional objectivity to their work that lawyers and physicians bring to theirs. Only licensed architects may use the title "architect" and their project drawings must bear their architect's seal before construction may begin.

Architects are trained problem solvers.  Their education prepares them to present options to your design needs that you may have never considered. These options often can and do, reduce construction costs, decrease your home's energy needs, and increase its future value through good design. Remember that your architect represents you!  The architect looks out for your interests and smoothes the process, helps find qualified construction contractors, and visits the worksite to help protect you against work that is not according to plan.

Please go to Project Step By Step for an in-depth review of the building process, taking you through Programming, Schematic Design/Public Processing, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bid Negotiation, Value Engineering, and Construction Administration.

All architects share an ability, as well as a responsibility, to comprehend the whole design and building process.  This skill distinguishes architects from all other professionals.  The result is an increase in the value, beauty and usefulness of your completed project.