Who To Call First, An Architect Or A Contractor? Part 2

In part 1 we learned that who to call first, and architect or a contractor, is not as important as getting both on board early. Establishing a solid foundation of communication, trust and predictability.

The tip of the iceberg…

Getting the architect and contractor on board together is only a start. Each will assemble their support crews of sub-contractors and engineers. Again, established relationships bringing trust and communication. Together, from the architect and builder down, this group of professionals will design and build the systems necessary to heat and cool your home, provide water, waste removal, lights and the structural framing.


The process will include periodic design reviews with you, the architect, the builder and sometimes consulting sub-contractors and engineers. Keeping all issues and concerns out in front, heading off potential mistakes down the road. Mistakes that will cost money.

The alternative…

Of course you can take the traditional approach and call an architect, have him or her design your project over a period of several weeks to several months, then introduce one or more builders to bid on your project. They may or may not know your architect, and they were not  involved in the process. This can lead to delays and more finger pointing than is necessary.

Office life

Or, you could contact a contractor who will design you a project that might need several re-designs due to building code or zoning requirements, delaying the project. Yes, contractors are familiar with building codes but are not their area of expertise, especially if the city building officials require and architect’s stamp.

Both scenarios introduce uncertainties, trust and communication being the two vital components that need to be established early.

Please share any anecdotal experiences, good or bad. Your stories can only be more helpful to those seeking advice.

Photos used with creative commons license.