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Do You Need an Architect To Plan a Home Addition?

In Construction by Giovanni ValleLeave a Comment

Home additions have become increasingly popular as more people choose to remain in their homes rather than sell. If you’re considering an addition to your home, you may wonder if it would be best to do this project yourself or hire a professional.

You need a professional architect to plan your home addition if you want to save yourself some time and money in the long run. At the same time, hiring an architect will ensure that the job is done correctly.

Keep reading to learn about the reasons to hire a professional architect and the costs associated with doing so. I’m also going to discuss some things you should consider if you choose to do the home addition yourself.

Hiring an Architect To Do Your Home Addition

Did you know that more than 30% of remodeling jobs done by professionals are unfinished DIY projects?

A home addition is a big job, and there are a lot of things to consider. An architect is a great resource to help you navigate all details, from design to construction.

Architects also have the best insight and most up-to-date information on permits, zoning laws, and other technical aspects of the job.

Cost of Hiring an Architect

The cost of hiring an architect depends on the fee structure. The architect you hire will likely use one of the following payment structures:

  • Per hour: In this structure, the total fee depends on the number of hours the architect spends working on the project. An architect’s hourly rate is around $80-$100, on average.
  • Percentage: The fee in this structure is a set percentage of the total project cost. For example, if your architect’s fee is 15% and your project cost is $25,000, you’d pay the architect $3,750. The percentage here is typically negotiable.
  • Per square foot: In this case, the architect is paid a flat fee for every square foot. The average rate per square foot is around $1.25-$5.00.

Pros of Hiring an Architect

Hiring an architect comes with many advantages. Here are a few key pros to consider:

Cutting Costs – After looking at the fee structures, you may be thinking that hiring an architect is a bit pricey. However, hiring an architect will save you money in the long run.

As I mentioned earlier, professionals often get called after a DIY project fails. The last thing you want to do is sink precious time and money into a DIY project just to hire a professional to finish the job. Why not hire them from the beginning and save that time, hassle, and money?

Architects Have the Resources – There are a lot of moving parts to a home renovation. In addition to an architect, you also have to think about electricians, plumbers, painters, etc. Hiring an architect who has a team, knows the right people, and has the right tools and resources to get the job done will save you the headache of trying to figure it all out on your own.

You Get What You Want – A professional architect will likely have something that you don’t: experience. Having experience means they’ll know how to get you what you want on the first try. They may even be able to give you ideas and help you discover something you didn’t know you wanted.

Your Home Addition Will Be Up To Code – There are a lot of codes to follow, permits to get, and documents to file when it comes to construction. An architect already knows all of that, which means you won’t be up all night researching and trying to figure out what you need to do. Additionally, doing the job correctly the first time will ensure there are no issues down the line.

Do-It-Yourself Home Addition

If you have a DIY hobby or a desire to get your hands dirty, you may be thinking about doing your home addition entirely on your own.

Doing your own home addition is entirely possible, but it’ll take more time, effort, and maybe even more money to do.

Cost of DIY Home Addition

Working on a home addition can cost anywhere from $25,000 to $60,000. That price can increase if you’re doing a more complicated design or room.

Though you’ll save money on physical labor if you do the addition yourself, there are other costs and things to consider:

  • Purchasing materials.
  • Renting or purchasing equipment.
  • The inconvenience of a longer remodel (especially if you’re working on your home around a full-time job).
  • Time spent obtaining permits and researching zoning laws (any projects not done to code can also result in a decrease in your house’s value).
  • Assistance for aspects that require more than one person.
Pros of DIY Home Addition

Though it may be easier overall to hire an architect, there are some pros of doing a home addition all on your own:

  • You’ll learn a lot. There’s no better way to learn than by doing. Diving into a DIY home addition will teach you so much about every aspect of this job. You’ll likely spend hours researching and watching multiple how-to tutorials on YouTube. You’ll learn the legal ins and outs, the design aspect, and more technical construction skills.
  • The satisfaction of DIY. There’s no doubt that after finishing a DIY home addition, you’ll feel so accomplished and satisfied with your work. You did that!

Final Thoughts

If you want the satisfaction and the learning opportunities of building your home addition entirely on your own, then a DIY job may be right for you. But if you’re choosing to go out on your own, be sure to plan the project out before starting, and don’t forget to look at all of the hidden costs.

It may be easier and cheaper to hire an architect for your home addition project. Hiring an architect will:

  • Save you money and time in the long run.
  • Ensure you get what you want.
  • Ensure everything is done correctly.


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