Do You Need a Contractor and an Architect?

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Ed Mijares


I need a special needs remodeler for my house. I have a handiccaped daughter and it is very hard to navigate though our house and bathroom.



I've been an electrician for 30 yrs. Architect jobs turn out better for the owner /end user about 99% of the time. That includes cost.

Fred Cox


I distrust doctors who sell what they prescribe. Hire an architect - not just for the design but also to look over the builder's bid & proposed contract, review the materials and watch over the construction. There is a good reason most builders would prefer to design it for you "for free." Think about it. (ps - I'm not an architect.)

jay bright


I had a new Georgian style house ruined when the contractor had a high school kid draw up the construction drawing...saving my fee and using "too small" windows. Good contractors welcome architects to deal with the owner and run a fair construction operation.



In each of these three groups there are good, OK, and bad companies. The most important thing is to choose an individual who is excellent and has a history of excellence in his (her) company.



Saying "Its always a better picture from these drawings represented versus and architect" is obviously subjective. Selecting an architect that has the experience and expertise for your project, which is what Angie's List is for, is the key to getting higher quality final product than an in-house contractor design team. An architect will typically cost more, however there knowledge can usually save you more than their fee.



Hey, We also are a design build co. Our employees have Technology degrees and do both space planning on CAD system and build. Its always a better picture from these drawings represented versus and architect and cheaper as well. yes you may have to have the drawings stamped by an architect but thats usually where it pays if the company your dealing with has some good affairs with the architects who trust in their planning, building and resourcing of materials. this way you dont pay two design fees.

Olesya Malloy


Both article and the comments were very helpful. I would like to open a cafe and had hard time deciding weather I need to budget for an architect. I most defiantly will.

Alene Korby


I used an architect for my new home, and it was the best decision that I made on the home. The builder was trying to cut corners even though he bid on the architectural plans. If my architect wasn't on site managing the compliance to the specification, I would have been "taken" on many of the materials and some of the design aspects would have been compromised. I have a one-of-a-kind home, and there is no doubt that had I just hired a builder, my home would look like anyone else's

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I second the original question (still unanswered). Speaking as someone who logged in today to try to find an attorney, I see this category as one that's exactly what I have my Angie's List membership for:

1. It's important that I find a good one
2. I'm not an expert enough to know myself who is a good one
3. The industry is full of advertisements and misinformation
4. I wish I knew what experiences other people have had

I don't care about lawns--I planted mine in clover and don't have to mow it. When I do need to mow I use a rotary Fiskars mower, which is great--or a scythe. That's right--a scythe (the European type, which is smaller, and it's very good exercise). Gas-powered mowers, chemical fertilizers and weed killers--all nasty stuff that gets into everyone's air, soil, and water. I'm sure my neighbor doesn't like my wildflowers, semi-wild pockets of fruit bushes, and unmown areas and yes, dandelions (I have 10 acres) but that's too bad. It's better habitat for wildlife, especially the pollinators on which our food supply depends. I think this obsession with the Great American Lawn is a waste of time and resources. Plant some food instead.

I'm not sure Angie et. al. want you to have a complete answer to this question. By re-subscribing at the Indiana State Fair in 2012, I think I paid $20.00 per year for a multi- year subscription. Maybe even less. At the other extreme--and I hope my memory isn't faulty about this--I think the price, for my area, for ONE year was an outrageous $70.00. And they debited me automatically without warning. I had to opt out of that automatic charge. I like Angie's List, but if some of the companies they monitor behaved the way they do in this respect, they'd be on some sort of Pages of Unhappiness. I'll be interested to see if this comment gets published or censored out of existence.

That's very difficult to answer without seeing the house. As one poster said, the prep is the most important part. On newer homes that don't have a lot of peeling paint, the prep can be very minimal even as low as a couple or a few hundred dollars for the prep labor.

On a 100 year old home with 12 coats of peeling paint on it, then the prep costs can be very high and can easily exceed 50% of the job's labor cost.

A 2100 sq ft two story home could easily cost $1000 just for the labor to prep for the paint job. That number could climb too. Throw in lots of caullking  or window glazing, and you could be talking a couple or a few hundred dollars more for labor.

Painting that home with one coat of paint and a different color on the trim could run roughly $1000 or more just for labor. Add a second coat  and that could cost close to another $1000 for labor.

For paint, you may need 20 gallons of paint. You can pay from $30-$70 for a gallon of good quality exterior paint. The manufacturer of the paint should be specified in any painting contract. Otherwise, the contractor could bid at a Sherwin-Williams $60 per gallon paint and then paint the house with $35 Valspar and pocket the difference. $25 dollars per gallon times 20 gallons? That's a pretty penny too.

That was the long answer to your question. The short answer is $2000 to $4000 and up, depending upon the amount of prep, the number of coats, the amount of trim, and the paint used.