Even if you have a good idea of what you want your investment property renovation to look like, usually the greater the scope of the project, the more likely an architect is going to be worth the added expense.
It’s best to ask your local real estate brokers for their recommendations as to which architects are the most experienced in your particular area. Brokers see renovated homes on a daily basis, and the architects that designed the improvements are widely well-known in the real estate agency community for your area.
Aside from an increased aesthetic sense that could be brought to your project, an architect could help keep you out of potential pitfalls most property investors can’t foresee with house improvements. This feature alone may be worth the architect’s fee.
Architects can run through many schemes in design layouts very quickly. They will draw up plans based on their library of experience. They can see potential problems and suggest alternate scenarios – things the investor would never think of.
Bridging the gap
An architect can also bridge the gap between the world of construction and the investor. Unless you’re a very experienced property investor, with many projects under your belt, you and trades people will find yourselves speaking different languages. And the architect can serve as interpreter. They can talk the nuts and bolts shop talk with contractors and trades people, while translating the wants and desires of the investor regarding materials, layout and costs.
Architects are trained in different building design disciplines. Licensed by their respective states, architects are schooled in the aesthetic as well as the environmental areas of building construction.
The usual property investor is not trained to look at all facets of a major renovation, and could leave out important details in the planning process.
Handling the details
Architects can best analyze what renovations make the most sense for a particular site. Especially when a house needs to be totally rebuilt. Concerns such as wind, landscaping, wetlands, sunlight and drainage, as well as foundation, septic system and well placements are just some of the myriad details they would take into account in this scenario..
The starting point for all projects is setting up a realistic budget with the investor. The architect than moves to the layout and plans stages for a proposed renovation.
Once approved by the investor, the architect files all necessary drawings with the local building department. If one hasn’t been chosen already, both investor and architect work in concert to select a suitable contractor for the project.
After building permits are obtained, the contractor takes over construction of the renovation, but the architect remains the main representative for the investor. As their rep, the architect makes all inspections of work done as the project progresses, and most importantly, approves all payments to the contractor.
In many cases, this role as a buffer for the investor may be the greatest benefit offered by architects.
photos courtesy of rgsbuilders.com, aftenbladet.no, 123rf.com, cyrusaustralia.com.au