It's not uncommon for people thinking of building, adding on, or renovating to
have questions holding them back from moving forward. Some questions are pretty basic, others may be more complex,
but no question is too trivial to ask.
The following questions are some that are often asked. If you have any
questions, please feel free to contact me through email or telephone. Don't let unanswered questions hold you
back from moving forward with your project.
Joseph I. Mycyk Architects, Inc.
When should I speak with an Architect regarding my project?
Right now! The earlier you speak with an Architect, the sooner you will have answers to your immediate
questions. A telephone discussion will bring forward more questions and answers than you may have imagined no matter what
your project may be. A discussion at your home or building site will allow the Architect to view the existing, inquire about
current use, and start to better understand your needs. The discussion will eventually evolve to provide you with information
and options to consider in proceeding with your project.
Most Architects will initially
meet with you to discuss your project for no charge. Be sure to confirm this with the Architect before meeting at your home
I know exactly what I what. Can I skip the Preliminary Phase and just have the Architect draw the Construction
Documents in order to save time and money on the fee?
You would be surprised how
much you exactly don’t know. Though you may be very familiar with your home or site, and feel confident in your “owner’s
expertise” there may be issues that you may not have taken into account. Issues like zoning, building
code, life safety, site conditions, structural, mechanical, electrical, etc. The Architect’s education
and professional experience takes all of this and more into account for every project. If you are comfortable enough to hire
a specific Architect, allow the Architect to provide you the professional services necessary for your project.
Once a building permit has been approved, why do I need the Architect to conduct site visits?
You may choose to exclude Construction Phase Services in your Agreement Between Owner and Architect, however, then
the burden of interpreting the Construction Documents and dealing with the unexpected during the Construction falls on you,
Keeping the Architect involved during the Construction Phase of your project is very beneficial for you, the
Owner. The Architect, conducting site visits during the Construction Phase of your project, is your representative looking
out for your best interests. Through Site Observation, the Architect can view that work is being done according to the intent
of the Drawings. The Architect is also available to answer questions the General Contractor or you may have during this phase.
In the event of anything unexpected coming up during the Construction Phase, the Architect is there to assist in evaluating,
and together with you and the General Contractor, come up with a solution for your project.
How do I know I am hiring the right Architect for me and for my project?
Nothing perfect ever falls in on anyone’s lap. Those looking to hire an Architect need to do the research they
are comfortable with. Ask your friends and neighbors who may have worked with an Architect before. Check online for licensed
Architects in your area, view their websites, call with questions. Talk with your local building department officials.
Though they won’t recommend a specific Architect, they may provide you a list of Architects that have done work in the
area. Ask the Architect for references of past clients and projects similar to your project. Call the
references, ask questions and don’t hesitate to inquire if you could visit to view the completed work. Ask about their
experience in working with the Architect. Ask what they did not like about the Architect.
In the end, there needs to be a certain “chemistry” between you and the Architect.
5. My General
Contractor says I don’t need an Architect for this project.
on the municipality you live in and the type of project you are planning, that may be correct. You should always check with
your municipality’s Building Department to confirm whether the building permit you would need to for your project requires
submittal of Construction Documents prepared by and sealed by a licensed Architect for review prior to issuing a building
I bought a set of House Plans online. Can I just have an Architect sign and seal those prints for my permit
submittal as well as for my General Contractor to build from?
Absolutely no. State licensing jurisdictions require that Drawings
signed and sealed by a state licensed Architect must be directly prepared by the Architect or be prepared under the Architect’s
direct supervision. Also, due to copyright law, an Architect cannot redraw the online purchased House Plans or any other prepared
Drawings without the written consent of the person who prepared those Drawings. Without the written consent, you would be
asking the Architect to violate the law and be subject to severe monetary fines as well as penalties of potential suspension
or loss of license to practice Architecture.
Be aware that those online purchased
House Plans were not prepared by someone familiar with your building site, site orientation, site’s terrain, and local
building code or by anyone who is will to take on the liability associated with such work product.