They say there are only two certainties in life: Death and Taxes. I disagree. Technically speaking there are many certainties in life to varying degrees. For example, I am quite certain that the sun will rise tomorrow. I may not be able to see it due to the overcast nastiness that is currently seen outside my window, but it’s there nonetheless. And there are many other certainties, but they’re not what we’re here to talk about. What we are here to talk about is a certainty that many either ignore or simply are not aware of. This was brought to our attention recently while talking with a potential client that is looking to add on to their home, specifically a complete master suite addition and remodel including all new fixtures, millwork, and finishes. The project would be very involved as we would be partially removing and adding on to existing structural elements, new roof, foundation, plumbing, electrical and mechanical. The design and detailing would be important to insure long term success of the project.

While talking with the potential client we asked general questions about budget, timeline, level of finish desired, if they had a contractor, etc. There were more unanswered questions than answered which led me to conclude that perhaps they had never embarked on this type of project before. And at one point this statement was made: “Well, I don’t really think we need an architect. Can’t the contractor just come in and build what we want?”

And this is the certainty that every homeowner needs to understand: Yes, you need an architect.

“But I just want to remodel my bathroom.” Yes, you need an architect.

“But, it’s just a kitchen remodel. I already know what I want.” Yes, you need an architect.

“But I already designed it and made a drawing for the contractor.” Yes, you DEFINITELY need an architect.

“But…” Let me stop you right there. Yes, you need an architect.

We’ve talked about this so many times, but it always comes up. We’ve talked about the value that is added to your project by having an architect involved. We’ve talked about the money you’ll save by having an architect involved. We’ve talked about the time you’ll save by having an architect involved. All of these things are true regardless of the size of your project. Your architect is your advocate, your representative, your insurance policy, making sure that your project is built well, built to last, and most importantly built according to the design. Not having an architect involved on your project from start to finish means that you will end up with what you end up with. It will likely cost more money, take more time, cause countless frustrations during the process that you need to deal with, and in the end likely be something that you will have to settle for because it’s not quite what you imagined it would be.



Kitchen remodel, approximately 240 square feet. Contemporary, architect designed.



Small 170 square foot addition to a historic home. Contemporary, architect designed.



Lisa Saldivar