Architect FAQs

  • Introduction

    Architects are skilled professionals who create designs and plans for a variety of reasons. While the term architect traditionally refers to a professional who creates building plans, either for residential or commercial properties, the word can also refer to an architect who works with technology and digital infrastructure. Below are some of the most common titles an architect may have:
    • Landscape architect: Designs outdoor spaces, such as parks, gardens, and college campuses

    • Restoration architect: Preserves historic buildings and monuments
    • Lighting architect: Designs, installs, and operates lighting for theater and film productions
    • Extreme architect: Creates buildings that withstand major disasters or severe weather
    • Residential architect: Designs homes and multifamily properties
    • Sustainable/green design architect: Designs buildings that have a minimal environmental impact
    • Industrial architect: Develops plans for industrial buildings, such as factories and plants
    • Conservation architect: Preserves unprotected heritage sites
    • Interior architect: Designs interiors for commercial and residential buildings
  • How much does an architect cost?

    The cost of hiring an architect varies, depending on what type of work needs to be done. According to Home Guide, most traditional architects charge anywhere from $100 to $250 per hour to draw plans; however, this cost may vary depending on experience and project scope.

  • How much do residential architects charge?

    Residential architects typically charge anywhere from $2,000 to $8,500 for initial plans and small projects, according to Home Advisor. For large projects, revisions, and extra services, this cost can increase.

  • Do I need an architect to build a house?

    While it's not required to hire an architect before building a house, it's usually a good idea. An architect can ensure that all housing plans are done per local housing codes while ensuring the home is beautifully designed.

  • How can someone draw like an architect?

    It requires practice and knowledge of drawing different perspectives and dimensions. Tutorial videos can be found online that advise beginners; however, without proper instruction and technique, architectural drawings may not be in accordance with building laws.

  • Do you need an architect for a renovation?

    An architect isn't always required for a remodel or renovation; however, some municipalities may require professional architect drawings before construction permits are approved. In most cases, it's best to check with local laws before undergoing renovations.

  • How long is an architect liable for a building?

    Architects may be held liable for up to 15 years after the completion of a project. Until that time has passed, architects may face claims for defects in design.

  • Should I hire an architect or draftsman?

    If no design exists, an architect can help take a project from start to finish. However, if a design already exists and an engineer has reviewed the project, a draftsman can use plans and engineering drawings to create a blueprint for construction professionals.

  • Do you need an architect to finish a basement?

    Just as with remodeling projects and renovations, an architect isn't normally required to finish a basement. That being said, some municipalities may require architectural drawings before construction is approved, so it's best to check local laws.

  • How much do architects make?

    According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, architects earn an average of $82,320 per year. Of course, this salary can vary depending on experience, skill, and projects they undertake.

  • How long does it take to become an architect?

    An undergraduate degree in architecture takes about five years to earn while attending school full-time. Some architects may choose to earn a master's degree in their field, which normally takes an additional three years.

  • What degree do you need to be an architect?

    While some students become architects with a bachelor's of architecture degree, many prefer to further their education with a master's of architecture degree. Those with master's degrees typically earn a greater salary.

  • Can you become an architect without a degree?

    While an architect typically requires at least a bachelor's degree, those who wish to become an architectural technologist, an architectural technician, or a draftsperson can earn certification at a technical college.

  • What programs do architects use to render?

    Several programs are commonly used in the architectural community. While AutoCAD is the most common, some architects may prefer to use programs such as ArchiCAD, SketchUp, Revit Architecture, or Rhino 3D.

  • Do architects need insurance?

    Architects should invest in professional liability insurance to protect them against claims of faulty designs. In some states, architects must carry this type of insurance before they're able to practice legally.

  • How much is professional liability insurance for architects?

    The average cost of professional liability insurance is $35 per month, according to Insureon. It's important to note that this cost may vary depending on policy options, such as deductibles and limits and the provider.

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