Designing your own home can be one of the most thrilling yet stressful experiences you may come across in your life. From floor and wall colours, ceiling fixtures, to the windows… there is so much involved in the design process. Is it possible to design your own home? Absolutely. But sometimes it’s better to leave it to the professionals.

A big question that most homeowners face though is who to hire – An architect? An engineer? An interior designer? Or all of the above? At the end of the day it is extremely important to have a professional handle the building of your home to the final stages of completion.

Very few homeowners realize the different people involved when it comes to the construction and overall design of a home. While architects, contractors, and designers main profession revolves around a home and the overall building design, their main skill sets vary greatly from one to the next.

Curious to know the differences and roles each person plays in the design process of a home?
Here is a general outline of the following:

What does an architect do?

Architects, also known as a “project manager”, are trained in design theory, engineering, and project management. They are experienced in coming up with inventive and clever ideas that solve design problems, oversee any work needing done to your home, and help with any major roadblocks you could potentially face during a project. More often than not, homeowners will hire an architect before the contractor even gets involved.

A few typical tasks of an architect include:

  • Draw up design plans for the homeowner; usually, a computer-aided model is provided to give a more realistic view.
  • Adapting plans according to unforeseen circumstances and resolving any problems that may arise during construction.
  • Supervise and monitor the construction of the home takes place.
  • Works directly with the contractors and sub-contractors assigned to the building of the home.

The role of a structural engineer

A structural engineer plays a huge role in the construction process of a home, as they are solely focused on the design and physical integrity of the home as a whole unit. Unlike an architect who focuses on the appearance, shape, and size – the engineer will deal and solve all technical problems and help the architect implement to vision of the entire project.

Roles and tasks of an engineer:

  • Coordinate and consult with the architect and other members involved in the home building project.
  • Organizing and delivering material and equipment needed for the job.
  • The overall design of the structure – calculating loads and stresses that the home will withstand and encounter.

The role of your builder/contractor

Generally, the contractor and or builder will oversee the entire project and make sure everything is done according to your expectations once work on the home commences. A contractor will determine the cost, lay out an agreement, and provide the necessary workers for the job – carpenter, plumber, and other workers, while they supervise said work. Some contractors do work alongside a designer or in-house architect that they partner with on projects, or they will be open to working with a professional of your choice. This will decide on who you enlist to help with your home and at what stage it’s at.

So how does a designer fit into all of this?

Unlike the above professional designers generally, do not have academic training in architecture and engineering but possess many qualities similar to that of an architect. Once you are ready to bring your space to life their skills will be used to enhance the properties and features of your newly constructed home.

Although a designer is working on the interior and sometimes the exterior of your home to enhance the properties of it, a designer works closely alongside a structural engineer to make sure key aspects of the home don’t conflict with the overall functionality of the home. Where some homeowners may think something would make sense or should go in a certain space, an interior designer will catch those details and correct them, ultimately saving time and money.
Interior designers help with the following:

  • Planning what is going in the space
  • Create drawings and a design plan for your home that is functional and aesthetically pleasing.
  • Once the design is approved by the client, the designer will then implement and bring the space to life.
  • Work with the contractor to finalize and finish elements of the home.

A simple rule to follow when figuring out who you need to help with the final stages of your home: architects design the interior and exterior spaces of our home (structurally), while the ‘interior’ designers, hence the name, work within the already established inside space, using their skills to add aesthetic value, thus making your new house a home.

Are you wanting me information on a designer and how to design your home, or have additional questions? If you want to discuss your log home design, log cabin structure or construction plans with our experts at Artisan Log Homes, please contact us today!