CHANTILLY, VA, Nov 23, 2014—Building a new home or remodeling your exisiting space can be a confusing process involving many different parties, from contractors to architects and everyone in between. In the following article, Scott MacDonald, President of RE/MAX Gateway explains the roles of different home improvement professionals.
General contractors - General contractors are companies or individuals who contract with you to manage all aspects of the project, including hiring and supervising subcontractors, obtaining building permits, and supplying materials and labor equipment needed to do the project. “The contractor is responsible for pricing the project and ensuring that it is completed in a timely fashion,” says MacDonald.
Specialty contractors - Specialty contractors are mainly concerned with installing products, such as cabinets and fixtures.
Design/build contractors - Design/build contractors basically offer one-stop service, providing design and construction services and overseeing a project from start to finish.
Architects - Architects design homes, additions, and major renovations. “The architect is responsible for getting the construction drawing completed with proper specifications and architectural detail,” explains MacDonald. Since many jurisdictions require architectural drawings to be reviewed to ensure the plans sufficiently meet local codes, the architect may also be responsible for applying for and securing the permits.
Now that we've outlined the roles of each professional, it's important to note a few other things, like who to bring aboard a project first – the architect, or the contractor? This argument runs parallel to the old chicken or egg question, and opinions vary about which professional to call first.
“Some say the architect comes first because you have to design a project before you can build it,” says MacDonald. The architect, who is trained to resolve problems creatively, can help define the project in ways that provide meaningful guidance for the design. The architect can also do site studies, help secure planning and zoning approvals, and perform a variety of other pre-design tasks.
“On the other hand, a contractor will be the one you interact with on a regular basis and the person who will likely be in your home every day, possibly for an extended period depending on the scope of your work,” explains MacDonald. Also, it's important to note that many contractors have in-house design services, or design/build firms, and can possibly offer better price and integration between design and implementation. Others may have several architects with whom they work directly, which could also provide a smooth integration between design and implementation.
For more real estate information, please contact RE/MAX Gateway at firstname.lastname@example.org, 703-652-5777, or RE/MAX Gateway.