Part #3 - 2020.01.21 - When is the right time to hire an architect?

What’s one of the most common mistakes I see people making when it comes to their design projects? I see people try to do it all themselves and then assemble a team at the last minute. The truth is that the average person trying to tackle a major home renovation or addition doesn’t have any experience when it comes to design or construction, but for some reason, people feel like it’s no big deal, they’ll handle everything themselves.


So, right to it then, when should you hire the pros? The earlier the better in most cases is the truth. Major remodels, additions and new construction projects have a lot of moving parts. Way more than the average person even realizes in fact, and planning and organizing for those parts is the real key to success. If you just list out a few of the steps involved in properly planning for a project you’ll quickly understand. Here are a few of the key steps along the way when doing a project.

  • Client and Design team design project to meet client needs
  • Design team develops the design to work out details
  • Engineering team develop documents to add relevant engineering requirements
  • Address permit and municipal comments
  • Contractors bid the project to provide pricing and schedule
  • Start construction

When you look at a condensed list like this you might start to understand that each of these steps requires the steps before it in order to work effectively. The contractors need a complete set of documents in order to accurately price a project. The Municipality won’t approve a project without all code implications addressed (architectural and engineering). The engineers won’t be able to provide mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural sub systems without having a design to work from. And the Architect and Design team are the foundation to ensuring that moving from step to step runs as smoothly as possible.


With the popularity of HGTV and DIY networks and the plethora of renovation shows across the internet and TV its no wonder that people are being lulled into believing they can do anything themselves. You can’t blame people for their DIY spirit and wanting to do things themselves, but the reality is, that renovating a home or building a new home is something not everyone gets to do. It might be a once in a lifetime opportunity and ensuring that you get the opportunity to explore all of your options and do it right is crucial to the success of the project.


So, if you find yourself wanting to get started with a major home renovation, addition or new construction project then give us a call at Swakon Design. Helping clients explore the options they have is key to being satisfied with a project. And the coordination and expertise we bring along the way can save time and money in the long run.