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Do You Need Both An Architect And A Structural Engineer?

What an architect does

Architects are known for their strong emphasis on architecture, and it's real - we're pretty good at making things look good. Architects, however, are not a single trick pony. An architect may, in fact, assist you throughout your project.


They will begin by becoming one of the first professionals you take on, guiding you through potential design ideas and bringing architectural drawings to life in your future room (maybe even 3D models). It is these renderings, another service rendered by an architect, that will be bundled and submitted for planning approval.


Then an architect will help prepare the technical drawings you may need at the stage of building regulations until your designs have the go-ahead. This is a critical (and legally required) step in demonstrating that your home will continue to be a secure and healthy place for you and your neighbors, either to your local building control or to an accredited inspector.


Finally, an architect will be on hand to help the building get off without a hitch with the last of your permits granted. This may be by introductions to tried and tested suppliers or by offering site tours to ensure the building is up to scratch.


So, in summary, an architect can cover…

  • Design and architectural drawings

  • 3D models

  • Planning submission

  • Building regulations

  • Contractor recommendations

  • Site visits


Making them a very useful professional to have around.


What a structural engineer does

A particular kettle of fish to architects is structural engineers. Structural engineers prefer to specialize in just a few main areas where architects can cover a broad spectrum of services - namely, having the house stand up.


If you're doing something that could affect the structure of your house, structural engineers are mainly needed. Be it a rear extension, a conversion of the dormer loft, or even removing a chimney. Your structural engineer will usually measure the weight of your proposed structure during the design regulatory stage and specify key elements such as steel beams.


Overall a structural engineer will consider…


  • Materials you plan to use

  • The site location

  • Weight of the build

  • Structural support needed

Some structural engineers may also prepare your building regulations package.


How much architects and structural engineers cost

The price of an architect can vary widely, depending on…


  • Size of your project

  • The complexity of the design

  • Location

  • Whether or not you’re using a high-end practice

Disregarding the luxury side of things, it could bill up to £ 4750 for your standard practice to get your project ready for construction.


Deciding which you’ll need

If you have the budget to do something important, such as an extension or installing a dormer, then we suggest that both professionals be on board.


Both services have ample overlap to ensure that you not only get the best design, but also a top-quality end product.


While it might seem like a privilege to have an architect on board, as the space masters, they will ensure that you unlock the full value from your home - something that always pays off when it comes to reselling. As an investment, see their eye for style as well as their other resources as a way to keep the project running smoothly, preventing any expensive delays or rejected applications for planning.


The calculations are given by a structural engineer, meanwhile, are crucial for any extension. You might have an architect manage the building regulations for minor renovations, however.

Are You Looking for an Architecture Firm to Design Your Office?

Ecobuild Architects provides exceptional design and construction administration services for commercial and mixed-use projects throughout California with an eye towards sustainable/ high-performance building solutions. We are experts in suggesting Cost-Effective/ Sustainable Solutions for any size project. If you are searching for an architect that specializes in Zero-Net Energy Building Envelope Design, Water Reuse, Healthy Indoor Air Quality, & Fire Resilient/ New Home Construction Practices, look no further than Ecobuild Architects in Oakland, California. Contact us today for your free consultation!

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