Many homeowners know they want work done, and even know exactly what they want — but do they know how to get to the finished product? There are many moving pieces when remodeling or renovating a home, and not all of them are immediately intuitive.

One question we often hear is whether an architect or designer is needed for a specific type of project. Often, the answer is both! Still, these jobs encompass a range of duties and responsibilities in the remodeling process.

In this month’s post, we’ll take a look at the different responsibilities each position holds and what type of projects need an architect or designer.


How are architects and designers different?

Good question! While many people see these professions as more or less the same, there are real, though complimenting, differences in their responsibilities. While one handles the structure, the other generally handles how the structure is filled out.

What does an architect do?

Architects manage the structure of a remodel or building construction project. Namely, they design, manage, and draw up the plans for these projects. They also have educational training, a degree, and certification to practice as an architect.

Primary job responsibilities of an architect include:

  • Possessing a deep understanding of building codes, local laws, and permitting processes to ensure any design is legal and on the right side of any regulation.
  • After discussing needs with the client and other stakeholders, an architect will draw up plans for the project. This puts them in charge of designing a structure not only on an aesthetic level, but a mathematical one, too.
  • Ensuring a safe design and structure, confirming everything is up-to code and will be stable once completed.
  • Developing a realistic budget given the needs of the project and financial constraints of the client.
  • Once designs are finalized, overseeing the construction of the project.

Given the structural and safety implications of an architect’s responsibility, the job requires education and training to be done right. This means that any working architect must legally have a 4-5 year degree and 3-5 years of on-the-job and supervised experience. Once they achieve this, they can register with the state of Massachusetts as a registered architect.


What does a designer do?

Designers fill out the space created by an architect as beautifully and functionally as possible. While architects create the bones of a home, a designer develops its soul.

Primary job responsibilities of a designer include:

  • Consulting with clients on the functional and aesthetic needs of the space
  • Give their opinion and recommendations on how to fill out your space
  • Develop drawings and renderings of what the design will be like in real life
  • Consult on materials and other aesthetic aspects of the space, such as flooring, appliances, fixtures, and at times furniture
  • Ensure the function and look of the space will be consistent and flow, aesthetically and spatially

While safety still needs to be on the mind of any designer, they do not require the same level of education and training. This means that most people could advertise themselves as a designer, even if they do not have the skills necessary.

Make sure you work with a local Boston based company with a good reputation to ensure you work with a designer who does a good job.


Do I need an architect or designer for my project?

Good question! Given the yin-to-yang relationship between architects and designers, often times you may need both.

When you’ll need an architect

Generally, an architect is needed anytime a structure is being altered. This means any complex remodel or home addition is always going to need an architect to be legal, safe, and something you’d want to live.

Any sort of structural remodel needs an architect, including:

  • Putting in, adjusting, or taking out walls
  • Adding an additional structure to your home or property through a home addition
  • Adding space to existing rooms through a home addition
  • Combining multiple rooms to create an open floor plan layout
  • A new home is being built

You may need an architect during these stages of the home renovation project lifecycle:

  • Your home remodel is still in the planning stage
  • Plans need to be drawn up for any portion of your project
  • Any alteration are done to the structure are being done to your home

Identifying the signs that your home requires remodeling.

When you’ll need a designer

If the structure you already have is remaining the same, you will only need a designer for your project. Designers will help you go the right direction and make sure your new home simply works. Additionally, if you feel you need assistance translating your vision into reality, a designer will help.

This means the following types of remodels need a designer:

  • Single room remodels
  • Remodels you’re managing yourself but need assistance in executing design aspects
  • You are only doing a light remodel of multiple rooms and are looking for a cohesive aesthetic appearance through interior design

In addition to these remodels you will need a designer during the following stages of your project:

  • Construction is ready to kick off
  • No full-time project manager is needed

You need both a designer and an architect to efficiently execute a design-build project, ensuring that the aesthetic appeal and the structural integrity are effectively combined.


Projects where you’ll need both a designer and an architect

The fact of the matter is that most projects require both a designer and an architect for a space that you’ll love long-term.

When you have both a designer and an architect, you can complete a start-to-finish project more efficiently. The architect and designer will be working together from the initial conception of the project to the actual execution, allowing for a streamlined approach and a better result.

Hire both an architect and a designer when you…

  • Are working on a project with challenging design obstacles requiring significant structural work
  • Want to emphasize aesthetic improvements within your space
  • Want an integrated approach to function and beauty

Hire a Boston remodeler that can do both!

At Bay State Remodeling, our architects and designers can help you design the perfect space for you and your family. Our architects design space with your needs in mind, and our designers work with them to ensure spaces that WOW!

Our expert team have experience delivering results. Our customers love working with us, and our process is focused on guaranteeing their absolute satisfaction. Alongside our other services, we also excel in constructing accessible bathrooms that combine functionality with aesthetic appeal.

Contact us to see if you need an architect, designer, or both and to learn how our seasoned team can help you design and build the space you’ll love living in for years.

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