Architect vs. Designer – What’s the Difference?
Constructing a new home is a highly beneficial option for prospective homeowners who want to have complete say in every facet of the home design. If you’re looking to construct a home or building of any kind, there are numerous professionals that you’ll need to hire if you want to be certain that the structure will be built properly and will match local building codes. Two of the more important types of professionals that are important when starting development include an architect and a designer.
An architect is a professional who can design every type of building, which includes everything from homes and hospitals to churches and hotels. Once you’ve communicated extensively with the architect you’ve hired, this individual will draw up plans pertaining to the design, which is a lengthy process that’s typically aided by a computer. While architects are able to design a home or other type of building with aesthetics and function in mind, they tend to take a very logical and mathematical approach with their designs. This approach aims to ensure a stable structure.
A designer is mainly focused on enhancing the aesthetics of a home and making sure that the final appearance of the property matches your vision. However, the most reputable designers will likely have training and experience in construction, sustainability, and other fields of design, which means that a designer can help you build a new home. The main difference between the two professions is that designers tend to focus solely on residential homes and don’t have the expertise necessary to design a hotel or commercial building.
Both types of professionals have a similar set of skills and can help you develop a strong design for your building. Keep in mind, however, that architects have a better understanding of how buildings are put together, which can prove invaluable when you want to design a long-lasting building with premium materials.
The requirements for becoming an architect or designer is where the main differences between these two professions exist. The architect profession is highly regulated and governed. For someone to become a registered architect, they must obtain an architecture degree, which takes around 5-6 years to complete. They must also complete at least two years of on-the-job experience, pass at least seven architectural registration exams, and take continuing education courses in order to maintain the license they’ve received.
While many home designers will obtain the same amount of education and on-the-job experience as an architect, a license isn’t necessary to be a home designer, which is why education and experience levels can vary considerably with this profession. As such, it’s important that you perform extensive research on the designer you’re thinking of hiring to make sure they have the skills and training needed to turn your vision into reality. If the designer you hire doesn’t have a license, they may be unable to obtain building permits for the project at hand.
Before you begin development on your building, you might want to consider hiring both of these professionals. An architect can help you designed a sound building that functions perfectly. On the other hand, a home designer can assist you in designing the interiors of your home and transforming an empty space into an area that matches your personality and preferences. This article offers a more in-depth comparison between architects and designers.
Expectations When Hiring an Architect
As mentioned previously, architects are able to design every type of building, which allows these professionals to provide their services for any construction project. The buildings that architects can design include airports, hospitals, factories, homes, and retail stores. When you hire an architect for your project, they will be able to help you understand your needs and can provide you with computer-aided blueprints and models of the building you would like to design. Any issues you have with the design can be quickly altered on a computer, which means that revisions shouldn’t take too long.
One notable aspect of architects is that they are able to visualize design ideas in 3D, which makes it easier for them to convert your ideas into wholly realized building plans. The ability to think logically and mathematically allows architects to design buildings that are functional, stable, and aesthetically pleasing.
The designs that an architect makes typically incorporate energy-saving features, function, form, and safety into every aspect of the building. It’s highly recommended that you hire an architect before hiring a general contractor. While the architect you hire will mainly focus on designing your home or building, this individual can also supervise any subcontractors as well as the general contractor. You’ll find that architects are able to redraw plans when necessary while making sure that the local building code is adhered to.
Expectations When Hiring a Designer
When you’re thinking about hiring a home designer for your project, keep in mind that many designers obtain experience by first working in an architecture firm, which means that they have the training they need to design interior spaces even if they don’t have a license. Designers usually work directly with the property owner but can work with architects depending on who has been hired for the project. Once you hire a designer, you can expect that:
- The designer will oversee the construction and installation of the final design.
- Permits can be obtained by the designer if they have a license.
- When you want to construct a new home, the designer you hire can work with you throughout the entire design stage.
- Designers make 3D photos and plans of aesthetic and functional designs for an interior space. These designs typically include materials and furnishings and will take pricing into account.
- The designer’s final plans should be reviewed by a structural engineer to make sure that they are sound.
The Difference Between a Designer and Architect
Even though designers and architects tend to have a similar set of skills, there are some key differences that you should understand before making a hire. Even though the skills between these two professions are similar, architects usually have a more comprehensive knowledge of how buildings are constructed and the steps that must occur for a building to come together.
When looking at the full scope of work between these two professions, home designers and architects will meet with the property owner when creating a design. They also use the same design tools to complete a finalized design. However, designers are mainly responsible for designing the interior components of a home, which can involve selecting materials, choosing an interior design style, and identifying the proper flow of a space. If you want to make sure that your home has an open floor design, a home designer can translate your ideas into a design.
As for licensing, architects are the only ones required to obtain a license, which provides these professionals with the title of “Registered Architect”. The majority of professional designers will also attend an architecture school and obtain a similar degree. However, a designer won’t obtain or renew a license. You’ll also find that architects typically carry a certain amount of liability insurance to provide their clients with more confidence in the event of an error.
Architects and designers can work together on projects to help you achieve your vision. This form of collaboration usually occurs when designing residential homes. The architect will focus on the home’s exterior and making sure that the structure is sound. At the same time, the designer will aim to provide the property owner with an interior design that fits within the building plans that the architect is drawing up. You might want to hire both of these professionals if you would like to be certain that the interiors and exteriors of your home have the same level of attention and care put into them.
Concluding Thoughts on a Designer vs. an Architect
Designers and architects are both integral to construction projects. While designers aren’t needed for every building, you might want to consider hiring one when constructing a new home. Architects are licensed professionals who have the education and experience needed to design all types of buildings. These professionals will make sure that the building’s design is structurally sound and meets the local building code.
As for designers, it’s common for these professionals to be hired when designing the interiors of a home. If you want your home interiors to have a specific design or layout, a home designer can help you reach your goals. A few of the more popular interior designs that home designers work with include contemporary, industrial, and bohemian designs.
If you want your home to match your specifications and meet your needs, it’s possible that hiring a designer and architect will be in your best interests. While the architect is focusing on the home’s exterior, the designer will be able to create a beautiful and fully functional interior that ensures every aspect of your home matches your vision.
Jason Somers, President & Founder of Crest Real Estate
With over 15 years of professional experience in the Los Angeles luxury real estate market, Jason Somers has the background, judgement and track record to provide an unparalleled level of real estate services. His widespread knowledge helps clients identify and acquire income producing properties and value-ad development opportunities.
Learn more about Jason Somers or contact us.