“Hiring an architect is a waste of money.”  

Yikes. *Opens tub of ice cream and cries a little…*

Well… while I will never tell you what to do with your own money, let me just tackle a quick myth: architects should not be seen as a luxury.  Architects are a piece of the foundational workings of every construction project and are invaluable!  We can also save you money.  

The team at Rogue Architecture located out of Little Rock, Arkansas, created a series of blog posts that greatly detail how and why architects do, in fact, save clients time, money and stress!  Let’s break it down.

3 ways architects save you money skipping house design

skipping out on the design is like pouring bad foundations for your new home:
doesn't matter how nice the house is if it falls over.

Their first article deep dives into their design process and how the word itself can mean so many things!

“Design is one of those words thrown around A LOT. It’s everywhere. In common use it is very subjective and likely brings to mind a plethora of images that have little to do with architecture. For your architect however design is anything but subjective.  For each project we take on, no matter how big, small, complex, simple, mundane or magnanimous, the process is by and large the same. We generally follow through on these three steps: interview, investigate, collaborate.”

My own design process, as I share highlights of in my own post “Most Designers Specialize in One Style: Here’s Why I Don’t” I explain a very similar methodology and how it is critical to any successful project!

Rogue Architecture’s full article on Design here: Architects Save You Money: Design

3 ways architects save you money god is in the detail

god is in the detail, not the devil.

Went a bit biblical on you there in the title, but it’s true.  “God is in the detail” is an idiom that explains ‘any action or plan one undertakes should be done carefully and pragmatically; attention to small details will ultimately yield the greatest results.‘  Whereas when you say the “devil is in the detail” means that mistakes are usually made; I know which I’d chose to use if it were my own home, project and money… stay in your lane, Satan!

Rogue Architecture explains that “any design is only as successful as the details that make it work. And without a good set of construction documents (details) you’re at the mercy of whomever you hired to build your project and that’s not a good place to be with several hundred thousand dollars on the line. But what does that mean? How do good details equal dollars saved for you, the client? There are 3 ways that good details save you money and are potentially worth far more than the fees paid to your architect – coordination, clarity, and consistency.”

Rogue Architecture’s full article on Details here: Architects Save You Money: Details

3 ways architects save you money professional advice


The third, but maybe most essential part of why you need architects and how they save you money… and it’s the most common service my potential clients cut from the scope.  Well… until construction starts and they realize the value.

Rogue Architecture explains that “this is an area of architectural service that we really can’t stress enough the importance of, yet it’s almost always the one service that is taken advantage of least often. The technical ability to draft and to create a set of construction drawings is a learned ability by virtue of higher education and… the average person can draw a set of plans if they are sufficiently motivated. There is obviously far more that goes into the design and documentation of your average single family home, but we’ve addressed that before and isn’t the subject here today. Professional advice and experienced oversight is not something that is taught. It is not learned from books or research or Google. It is acquired little by little after years of experience being in the field, working with clients, working with contractors, and getting things built… this advice and oversight during construction helps you, the client, save money.

When you hire your architect you were presented with a contract that outlined a scope of work and various services to be performed that are associated with that scope of work. These services are likely listed as Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents and, hopefully, Contract Administration. The first 3 services make up the final work product that your architect provides – a set of drawings issued for construction. The last item on that list, Contract Administration, is where we really get at the meat of how your architect will save you money. This service isn’t tangible and honestly the only time a client sees the value of this service is when they elect NOT to have it in the architect’s services. Ironic, no?”

Rogue Architecture’s full article on Advice & Oversight here: Architects Save You Money: Advice & Oversight

Jessie Ellis

Jessie Ellis

Wife, friend and dog mom with 18+ years of education and 12+ years as a commercial design professional. Always inquisitive, creative and empathetic; trying to live each day with intention.

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