The Architect, Designer, and Contractor: The Perfect Trio for a Flawless Construction Project

So you’re planning a remodel or new build and you may want to know what types of professionals you need to hire. Maybe you only need a contractor or perhaps a contractor and architect or engineer? What about adding an interior designer into the mix? It can be hard to know which route to take.

In many cases, it’s best to hire an architect, an interior designer, and a contractor. All three professionals have different areas of expertise and skills and all three work together to complete a successful project.

For smaller projects, you can get by without all three, especially if the professional you hire has experience in one of the other areas. But for extensive remodels or new builds, you’ll need to plan to hire all three types of professionals. 

Continue reading to learn when you’ll need to have each professional on your team and why.

When and Why You’ll Need an Architect or Engineer

If you’re planning an addition or major structural changes to your home, then you’ll need an architect or an engineer. If you’re updating the exterior design of your home or want to match changes to a historical home, they’ll need to submit stamped plans for city permit approval.

Architects and engineers undergo extensive educational requirements and are licensed professionals. Architects are trained in design theory, engineering, code requirements, and project management. Engineers focus on structural requirements.

Architects mainly focus on the aesthetics  and the exterior of your home, the design style along with the structural elements like the foundation and roof. They make sure everything is code-compliant and will meet local regulations. They are good at space planning, but sometimes miss the functional design elements like where a lamp will be plugged in.

If you’re looking to change the interior structure and floor plan, that is usually something they can help with too, especially if it affects the exterior. But it’s important to note that not all architects specialize in creating functional interior layouts. This is why you need to do your homework and know what questions to ask when hiring. 


When and Why You’ll Need an Interior Designer

Interior Designers have an eye for detail. All of the finishes, details, and functional aspects of your home design are a top priority. The specialize in creating functional floor plans, details for construction, lighting, and all of the finishes and furnishings that create a beautifully finished space. If you’re making cosmetic updates to your home and you’re not making any big structural changes, you’ll need an interior designer but not an architect or engineer.  A good rule of thumb is if there are structural changes, those typically require a signed and stamped plan set for the city to approve. Architects and engineers do this.

Interior designers are problem solvers, they listen to what doesn’t work about your home and take note of your needs and desires. They’ll not only create a beautiful design to fit your aesthetic but also consider how to maximize functionality for your lifestyle. 

A good interior designer will be aware of what’s up to code and how to create healthy, functional living spaces. They can also change the layout of your floor plan, and create a cohesive design including flooring, furnishings, and finishes. 

An architect may overlook details that a skilled interior designer will catch, from window placement to electrical locations, door swings, and other elements that are key to a harmonious final design. They work closely with the contractor to modify or make changes to the design as needed.

When and Why You Need a Contractor

A good contractor makes the design ideas of both the architect and designer a reality, while also solving construction problems that arise. They focus primarily on the construction methods and costs involved to implement the architect’s and designer’s vision. For example, how to safely move and reconfigure plumbing and electrical when you start taking down or moving walls, and still effectively support the structure of the home. 

They will also help with the vetting and hiring of any subcontractors. They purchase building materials but typically don’t choose the aesthetic components like counters, flooring, tile, or furnishings. Those are left to you or the interior designer to select. 

Some contractors have a good eye for design and can help with design elements, but may not have the skills to create a cohesive palette with the rest of your home. A good designer will think through all options and make sure the best choice is made for value and longevity.

How All Three Work Together

Though each professional may be needed during different phases of your project, it’s best to bring in all three early on. As each role will affect the other two. To avoid getting anything lost in translation each professional needs to work together closely.

The benefit of working with all three is that they can align your goals and priorities. They can collaborate on floor plans and elevation drawings. It also helps to have additional eyes on details, and they each can share their experiences and resources.

Essentially they work together to keep your budget and timeline on track and to handle any unforeseen issues that arise – and something always pops up in a remodel project, it comes with the territory.

It may seem like an added cost (even unnecessary to some) to hire all three, and though it is an additional expense, you’ll be glad you have a team of skilled professionals on your side who will save you time and money in the long run. You can avoid unclear direction or costly mistakes, when they’re all on the same page and working on the project collaboratively. 

There are so many details and moving parts to keep track of in a renovation or new build and the bottom line is that they’ll help keep things stress-free to ensure that you’ll get the best possible results.

Pick one to be the leader and your point of contact, to make all communication go smoothly. Likely the first of the three you hire. We recommended that you either hire the architect or interior designer first. They come up with the vision and produce drawings from which the contractor can give you estimates. They may even recommend contractors that they’ve worked with, so you know that you’re getting a good team.

Though some services can overlap between the three professionals ideally all three professionals will complement one another, rather than compete. 

Why Work With Triple Heart Design?

At Triple Heart Design, we put our clients first and always advocate on your behalf.

To start, we’ll listen to get a better understanding of your style and needs. We’ll not only focus on creating a beautiful design that you love but make sure it solves any practical issues. We’ll see potential in your home in areas you can’t.

We’re experienced professionals with our own network of architects, contractors, and subcontractors to fulfill the requirements of any project, big or small. We also have a strong network of designer resources, so we have access to products that aren’t available for average consumers and can save you money along the way.

We’re great communicators, skilled project managers, and are detail-focused to make sure everything runs as smoothly as possible. If any problems occur we’ll make sure you stay in the loop and everything gets resolved in a timely manner.

We know cost is important so we’ll give you realistic expectations and keep you on budget.

Ready to get started on your remodel project? Contact us today. Want to learn more about planning a remodel?