Time, Cost and Quality...
An Architect's guidance and direction through the design & build process is more than likely to help attribute a larger savings which is typically realized during the construction process. While designing, Imagine Architecture P.C. has already anticipated most of the foreseeable issues or potential construction conflicts that would be otherwise overlooked. Imagine Architecture P.C. is already working through and around the issues or obstructions while we develop plans, elevations, etc.
With hand-drafting, any and every change requires the entire drawing to be re-done. With computers, obviously changes can be made on the spot at a meeting or at an office saving 75% of time and cost value. Hand-drafting is time-related and cannot be carried forward to other trades in the same manner CAD files can. Degree of exact measurements and capability to overlay floor plans when working on an existing house can be the ultimate cost savers when it comes to anticipating work that may interfere on multiple levels. Almost all consultants and subcontractors; structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other engineers, use computer generated CAD drawings to coordinate their work within the overall construction process. The Architect will generally provide a "CAD background" for the trade to work from. If you do not have these backgrounds, you can reasonably expect higher costs and longer lead times from the trades in order to prepare their own drawings for your project, if and when needed.
Building construction costs vary significantly according to complexity of a Project. There are many contributing factors, which would make it very difficult for any Owner to realize the true cost of their Project. From the time you decide to start the process up until the time the project ultimately breaks ground, construction costs may fluctuate depending outside influences such as, the time of year (spring/summer vs. fall/winter), price of gasoline or other fuels, the cost of commodities on the open market, and even environmental disasters could cause delays or cost increases. As well, the direct costs of materials and labor typically change over the course of a Project, especially when it comes to the specialized world of custom homes. All of these cost factors are completely out of the Owner or your design team's control In the event the budget you expected and the actual budget vary greatly, without an Architect there to evaluate possible cost reductions, you may give up something you really wanted without knowing if there are possible alternatives. The Owner should understand that simply by lowering your baseline cost of construction to meet a budget allowance would more than likely lead to lower quality of materials if decided by Contractor or Owner. The main reason for lower costs is mostly in part due to the reductions in quality and complexity which are unique to each project. The Owner should understand that simply by lowering the baseline cost of construction to meet a budget allowance, is in direct proportion to the quality of materials used to construct a home. The Architect's scope of services may include cost estimation, which will refine an Owner's expectations of cost from a budget perspective, but you should expect that your Architect will not be able to provide any sort of actual cost of construction since there are too many variables that will affect the cost during the process of designing and developing the Project. The reality is that materials and labor costs may, and usually do, change over the course of a Project depending on the time of year, price of gasoline, the cost of commodities on the open market, and even because of environmental disasters. These factors are completely out of the Architect's control. Your Architect should certainly be capable of helping you refine your Project budget costs based upon the cost per square footage within a certain region.
Owners who have hired Architects benefit from their cost and quality control throughout the entire design process. The Architect is capable of evaluating the design, materials, planning and spacial layouts while maintaining the overall quality and aesthetics of the work. It is widely understood that the more a building or home project costs equates to more work involved in both designing and building the Project. While balancing the quality of the materials and design alternatives to consider, your Architect is there to weigh the quality versus quantity value factors to achieve the best result while reducing the costs for the work ultimately cut from the work.