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An architect for a home remodel is one of the first disciplines needed to get a home remodel project started. They are responsible for drafting the floor plans and specifications that form the blueprint for your remodel. It’s a fundamental step—no one can build a house without a set of detailed plans. Therefore, it is natural for homeowners to believe that the first step to building their dream home is to reach out to an architect for a home remodel and get a plan drafted. However, many times general contractors and design-build companies find that clients who have gone through the process of drafting plans with an architect are often unable to build the home as envisioned. So, when does a homeowner need an architect for a home remodel? What is an architect responsible for, and what are the potential pitfalls?

The Essential Role of Architects in Initial Planning

Architects for a home remodel bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the table. They translate your vision into tangible plans, considering both aesthetic desires and functional needs. Their training enables them to see the bigger picture and foresee potential issues, ensuring that the remodel will not only look good but also work well. They balance creativity with practicality, blending innovative design with structural integrity and compliance with building codes.

Common Misconceptions and Pitfalls

However, many homeowners assume that having an architect for a home remodel design and draft plans is all they need. This assumption can lead to several pitfalls:

Budget Allocation

Architects for a home remodel often focus on creating beautiful and innovative designs, which can sometimes lead to plans that exceed your budget. Without early input from a general contractor, the cost of materials and construction methods might not be accurately considered, potentially resulting in plans that are not financially feasible.

Practical Designs

While architects for a home remodel excel at design, they may not always consider the practicalities of construction. For instance, certain design elements might be challenging or expensive to implement. Without coordination with a builder from the start, general contractors or subcontractors might find that the plans are impractical or require significant adjustments during construction.

Working with a general contractor or design-build firm at the beginning of a project is a good way to ensure material selections and construction methods are feasible. Homeowners can rely on construction-oriented professionals to challenge architects when unique design choices are called for.


A remodel often involves multiple trades, such as plumbing, electrical, and HVAC. Architects provide the overall design, but detailed coordination and sequencing of these trades typically fall to the general contractor. If the plans are handed off without this consideration, it can lead to inefficiencies, conflicts, and delays during construction.

This is one of the strengths of the Design-Build process. Sustainable Design Build is a full-service design-build firm, which means there is a seamless transition from design into construction. SDB handles the project management and communication with all subcontractors. This leads to a more efficient, streamlined process with much more consideration of nuances (like budget and material costs) that will affect a project’s completion.

Build Your Design Team or Hire a Design-Build

To mitigate issues, it is prudent to have a builder or general contractor working alongside the architect for a home remodel from the beginning. This collaboration ensures that the feasibility of the layout, scope, and materials is considered early on, aligning the design with budgetary constraints and construction realities. For homeowners, it is a good idea to shop around and get familiar with local general contractors and architects. Each company will have its own preferred process and level of involvement for a home remodel project. Regardless of their methods, it is important to bring the selected professionals together so they can collaborate as early as possible.

At Sustainable Design Build, we have in-house architects for a home remodel, general contractors, and interior designers. This integrated approach allows us to work seamlessly throughout the process, from concept to construction. By having all disciplines under one roof, we can ensure that your project is not only beautifully designed but also practical and within budget.

Involving an architect for a home remodel is critical for getting the project off to the right start. Their expertise in design, regulatory compliance, and structural integrity lays the foundation for a successful remodel. However, to avoid common pitfalls, it’s equally important to involve a general contractor or design-build firm early in the process. At Sustainable Design Build, our collaborative approach ensures that your project is beautifully designed, practical, and within budget, providing a seamless journey from concept to completion.

Connect With Us

Planning your next renovation, or maybe you are looking to do a complete remodel for your home? Whatever the task, it can’t hurt to ask. Reach out to our team through this form.

We can schedule a free consultation and discuss everything you need to get your project moving in the right direction. Did we mention, it’s absolutely free?