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Do I Need a Designer and an Architect for My Custom Home?


One of the first things that home buyers do once they've decided to build a home is shop around for design services. There are multiple ways to find a house designer. While architects can do the job, there are advantages to using design services from a design build contractor. Knowing the differences and advantages of one over the other can help you decide which type of professional is right for your situation.

Architect Vs. Builder

Architects are independent professionals who provide design services. Architects design custom homes, commercial structures, bridges, and more. Some architects work in firms, others work independently. The architect is hired to design the home, but their work does not stop there. Often, their plans must be revised as the home building process moves along. When changes are made to the original design, the architect and builder must work together to ensure those changes happen smoothly. Sometimes, changes can be made easily. Other times, changes made to the original design can create delays in the home-building process as entities work together and negotiate revisions to the blueprints.

Design build contractors are contractors who provide in-house design services to their clients, negating the need for an outside architect. They're just as capable of designing a home as an architect, with one clear advantage: all services are provided by the same company. When a builder employs a designer in-house, communication between the contractor and designer is seamless. This makes for a faster, more efficient, less stressful building process overall.


Which Is Better?

For home buyers who want to ensure an efficient home design process, hiring a design build contractor is a clear choice. Working with one company is cost-efficient, time efficient, and reduces stress. Building a custom home is already a lengthy and difficult process. Anything that can be done to make that process overall better, including hiring a design build team, is a benefit to the homeowner.


How to Choose a Design Professional

Whether you're hiring an architect or a design build contractor, the steps to deciding which professional to hire is more or less the same. Interview more than one professional before making your decision. Consider their licensure, certifications and background before making your decision. Look at their portfolio, and meet to talk and discuss the details of your job.

Check references. Any design professional should have good references that can vouch for their capability and professionalism. When contacting references, ask questions such as:

  • When did you work with this professional?
  • Would you hire them again?
  • How did they handle challenges on the job?
  • Did they communicate well?

Communication skills in particular are very important, especially if you're hiring an architect who will be working with your design build contractor. Hire someone who can clearly understand your priorities, who asks smart questions and who has the ability to communicate complex ideas. Only after meeting with several professionals and evaluating the skills and communication style of each potential designer can you decide which one is the right designer to hire.

Contact GTG Builders LLC

GTG Builders LLC has been designing and building custom homes in New Jersey for over 65 years. To get started building your custom home in New Jersey, contact us for a free consultation. Learn more about working with an architect on our architects page.

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