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Whom to Hire—an Architect or a Contractor?

Updated: May 24, 2021

 Whom to Hire—an Architect or a Contractor?

When it comes to renovating your home, whom should you hire—an architect or a contractor? The choice may not always be obvious, which is why in this post we'll provide some guidance.

Contractor vs. Architect: What is the difference between them?

In simple words, architects are responsible for developing projects that contractors can eventually execute. To look at it in another way, you can think of architects as integrating artistry and engineering whereas contractors carry out the practical work that is written out on the architect's plan.

Let's dig deeper into the duties of an architect and contractor to better understand who is more applicable for your project.

Architect vs. Contractor Responsibilities


An architect works to build a design that suits the needs and desires of a customer. The project scope can be massive, as in the case of high-rise buildings or small, as in the case of your home remodeling.

An architect must guarantee that their design meets not only the needs of the client but also construction standards. As such, the necessary permissions for the construction process will be obtained by these experts.

Architects collaborate with contractors beyond the design stage to ensure that the execution of their design goes according to schedule.

If you work with an architect to renovate your house, they will supervise the delivery of your remodel vision from the beginning until the end.

To make sure everything stays on schedule, they will interact with your contractors; technical expertise and industry credibility are assets that will be leveraged by good architects to get this done.

Cost: If you are using them entirely for planning and design, an architect usually costs $60 to $125 per hour. They tend to charge a percentage of the general cost of the project if they supervise the whole thing.


For the execution of the architect's design, a contractor is required. Usually, larger projects have a general contractor delegating more specific functions to subcontractors, but we will lump the two (contractor and subcontractor) together for the purpose of this article.

In the sense of home remodeling, contractor activities can include the removal and construction of walls, appliances, kitchen cabinets, light fixtures, stairs—the list goes on.

An architect's extensive work helps contractors to carry out their work according to a schedule; they don't have to worry about approvals or construction standards because they have already worked out that information.

When you’re dealing with a contractor, they will use their experience to achieve the outcome.

They will rely on you to articulate the overall vision and priorities if you are interacting directly with them. If the architect is an intermediary between you and the contractor, they will usually take on the responsibility.

Cost: Contractors do not usually bill by the hour, unlike architects. They can, instead, charge a fee for the entire project. Depending on what you are trying to do, this varies wildly.

If you are planning to remodel your home, then hire an Architecture Company in Milford, CT

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