Why do we need an Architect/Interior Designer when the Contractor can do it himself?

I came across this interesting article on the Yahoo Finance website that exposes the dirty secrets of contractors in order to help home buyers be more savy on their house renovations. One of the points was why you should engage an architect or designer. A lot of people in SIngapore feel they can save on the Architect/Designer fees as the contractor can also draw, design and do the job. Well I quote from the website:

"If you're going to make changes to plumbing or electrical systems, most building departments require that you obtain a permit and that an architect sign off on your plans. Beyond this bureaucratic oversight, most contractors tell clients they don't need an architect.

The fact is, the contractor doesn't want an architect. Contractors hate working with architects because they're a step up the power ladder. They act as site supervisor, checking materials used and approving or disapproving work before the client releases the next payment to the contractor.

That's precisely why you should consider hiring an architect for any large remodeling job. Besides providing aesthetic inspiration, architects cram their plans with specifics about materials and construction. Not surprisingly, bids prepared from architectural plans tend to be much closer to the actual final cost.

Architects charge anywhere from 8% to 15% of a project's budget. Some will critique a plan for about $100 an hour, with a minimum of $500 to $1,500. "


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