Do I need an Architect ?

Although not all municipalities require an Architect for all projects, it’s always a good idea to use one. An Architect provides knowledge and services not available from a contractor or designer.

What does an Architect do ?

An Architect refines the project requirements, researches codes, designs the project, documents the design, and oversees the construction. In short, the Architect designs and coordinates the entire construction process.

What does a builder do ?

A  builder or contractor constructs the project from documents prepared by the Architect.

Can I build my own project ?

An Owner can hire subcontractors directly or perform the work himself. For an Owner acting as his own general contractor, having a quality set of construction documents prepared by an Architect well versed in construction is of critical importance to avoid delays, changes, miscommunications and cost overruns.

How is an Architect Paid ?

The type of fees can be hourly, fixed fee, percentage of construction or per square foot, depending on the scope of work and type of project.

Is it worth it to hire an Architect ?

Some Owners ask “why should I pay more than the minimum for Architects services, what can an Architect do for me, can he save me money?”  The answer is hiring a good Architect can save money by avoiding changes, designing the appropriate building for the intended use, aligning the scope of work with the requirements, and a myriad of small details that are not within the expertise of most builders or Owners.

What will my project cost per square foot ?

This is a convenient but misleading method to budget construction cost. The cost per square foot varies with the project type, size, location, materials and design. Although we can provide square foot estimates, the most accurate method is to prepare an estimate based on a preliminary plan in conjunction with a general contractor.

Is building “Green” worth it?

It’s certainly worth it for the environment, and for the health and quality of life for the building occupants. Aspects of “Green Building” address not just energy efficiency, but air quality and other environmental factors. However, Green building will increase initial construction costs. The cost savings returned form Green building will be paid back over a number of years and then continue throughout the life of the building through lower energy costs, which will add to the intrinsic economic value of the property.

Copyright 2011 Thomas C. Psiharis


Should we remodel our home or move?

That depends on how much you like your current home location, features, schools, neighbors, and other intangible factors, and whether the remodeling can satisfy all your requirements for a home. Additions and remodeling are a complex, stressful process, which should also be factored into the decision.

Should we remodel our home or start from scratch ?

The answer is different for each instance. It depends on whether the renovations can accommodate all your needs, or compromises will diminish the results too severely. If your wish is to have an up to date home with current standards, the entire house may need work. At some point, the cost to remodel approaches the cost of new construction.

Will a remodel increase the value of a home?

Any improvement to a home will increase it’s value, but determining a monetary amount is difficult due to the many factors involved in real estate sales. The value of an improvement should be evaluated on it’s contribution to everyday quality of life, not just it’s dollar impact on the eventual sale of the home.

What are our thoughts on room addition design ?

Additions should match the style and character of the existing home, not stand out. The completed home should appear as if it were originally built as one.

Why hire Psiharis Achitects instead of another Architect ?

We believe a wide spectrum of experience brings ideas, materials and systems from different building types to each project. With a wealth of experience in design and construction, Psiharis Architects can deliver efficient, realistic, comprehensive architectural services that benefit each client.