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Design

Who will design my project?

Architect, Designer or Drafter?

Choosing who will design your project is a major decision. We work with the top architects, designers and drafters in Northeast Florida. We can recommend a number of professionals to collaborate with you on your project. Depending on your project, an architect, designer or drafter will be the best choice for capturing your ideas. They then turn them into drawings to be used by builders. The following table describes the basic skill set of each discipline and when it is best used.

  • Architect
  • Overview

    The architect is a licensed professional who understands how a building should be built. Architects have knowledge about the structural requirements necessary to prevent your home from toppling over. They understand all issues related to safety, as spelled out by the building codes to which their design for your home needs to conform. Licensed professional, often with an advanced degree, who has undergone an internship and rigorous testing to meet strict licensing standards. Legally responsible for all work.
    Depending on specialty, may have experience in a variety of areas from historical preservation to structural engineering. Continuing education is required by certain states to maintain licensing.

  • Experience of Scope and Responsibility

    Licensed professional, often with an advanced degree, who has undergone an internship and rigorous testing to meet strict licensing standards. Legally responsible for all work. Depending on specialty, may have experience in a variety of areas from historical preservation to structural engineering. Continuing education is required by many states to maintain licensing.

  • Best Use

    Hire an architect for all work that requires building permits and inspections. Often, city and county building codes require an architect´s approval. Check with your building department to verify. Some homeowner associations may require additions and remodeling projects to be signed off by a registered architect. The homeowner association’s architectural committee can provide specific guidelines for working within association covenants.

  • Designer
  • Overview

    Captures your vision and renders your design.Think of home designers as visual artists. They understand all space and functional issues you may bring up about your current and future home. They can also draft plans and elevations to describe layouts and form. Home designers’ strengths lie in design, function and decoration. They are also well versed in the wide variety of materials that can be used in your finishes.

  • Experience of Scope and Responsibility

    Able to visualize concepts and render usable working documents.
    Proficient in various design techniques such as CAD drafting, including plans, details, sections, and layouts, with a background in working with architects and project managers. May have additional experience in construction as well as materials and standards research, depending on education and background. Education may include formal CAD training and design coursework, but is not necessarily required. Licensing is not required.

  • Best Use

    A designer is trained to take your concept and create a workable vision. He or she can coordinate materials and color to the best effect, as well as define space usage. Designers can create elevations and floor plans that embody functional and aesthetic goals.

  • Drafter
  • Overview

    Provides working technical drawings for craftsmen and contractors.

  • Experience of Scope and Responsibility

    Proficient at architectural drawings of buildings and details using CAD applications. May specialize by type of structure and material used. Knowledgeable of materials and design standards. May have formal training or coursework. Licensing is not required.

  • Best Use

    A draftsman can create the kinds of technical drawings required by a custom cabinet maker, for example. Best for small or medium projects where drawings are needed. A draftsman provides technical detail, but does not provide a lot of design or engineering. A draftsman can provide contractors with a clear set of working instructions.

 

How do I decide who to hire?

First of all, if you have a small project that requires clear drawings for us to build, a draftsman can render a plan that works well and communicates effectively for a relatively modest investment. If you are planning a bathroom or kitchen remodel, you might hire either a drafter to draw up your ideas or a designer to help you define what you want. Either choice should provide you with a set of working drawings for us to follow.

Secondly, if you are at a conceptual stage and want someone to create a rendering of your ideas, an architectural designer is an excellent resource. These professionals can take your desire for a vague idea, such as a “casually elegant abode,” and create drawings that incorporate your ideas into a cohesive design. A designer is equipped to make recommendations about materials, finishes, and color.

Finally, for any project that requires complex requirements and/or structural modification, it´s wise to get the advice of a licensed architect. Hiring an architect will ensure that your project will be built to current codes. Some key benefits of hiring an Architect: Architects are committed professionals, your end product will be structurally sound, and Architects are capable of doing the design work, or taking the work of a designer and creating all the necessary working drawings.

Hiring

Regardless of your project and the scope of work, ask each candidate for the project to provide references and proof of all required licensing and insurance. Ask to see a portfolio of work and examine the work carefully. Depending on the discipline, cost and complexity, a contract may be used. If so, make sure that the scope of work is clearly defined, with all payment terms and warranties stipulated.