Architect Vs. Contractor


Have you been thinking about building a home or a new building and you're not quite sure who to call? Or have you just been curious about what the difference is between an architect and a contractor is? We are here to answer these questions!

Imagine this - you have decided to take the next big step in your life and are ready to build your dream home. Or you are helping an expanding company grow and they are ready to build their dream offices. Who are you going to call to make this next big step happen? An architect? A contractor? Are they the same thing? Can you have one without the other? In short, they are not the same thing and you cannot have one without the other. Think of a painter and their canvas. A masterpiece can't be created without the other. A theater production can't be produced without the actors and the set. A dance piece cannot come to life without the choreographer and the costumes. An architect and a contractor, as much as they live in very similar worlds, are very different. But have a beautiful symbiotic relationship that is necessary for any dream project to come to life.

Back before WWII and a family was ready to build their dream home - you only talked to one guy. This guy wore many hats, and the production time was long, dedicated, expensive, and made up of craftsmanship that is rarely even taught anymore. The guy wearing all those hats would design, build, and create the home of your dreams. There were other workers involved of course, but the family who had paid for this dream home to come about would only have this one reference point. But after WWII ended, this all changed - and modern architecture as we know it today truly bloomed. The need for more homes and fast came to be. The baby boomer generations was about to come into being. Business people started to come up with the basic design of simply made homes that could be recreated over and over again simply and at a low cost. Builders were then told how to take these designs and get them done quickly and safely. Developers would plan out the subdivisions the houses would be built in and real estate agents would be the salespeople. For many, this took a toll on what the architecture world was and created a more modern fast-paced world that we are more familiar with today. The homes were still of strong and sturdy quality, coming out of a time of dedicated craftsmanship, but the modern cookie-cutter home was on the horizon. The architect was no longer the single person who made all the decisions and choices and the only voice home buyers would be dealing with. This new dawning of architecture was opening Pandora's box - and more hands became involved.

Both job titles are responsible for the design and construction of any building both inside and out, and work in tandem to create the homes and buildings we know of today. It's interesting, as close and as important as they are to one another, you may know famous architects but I'm sure you couldn't name a famous contractor. Alot of the time, they become the unnamed super heroes who were behind the build itself. If you want to become either, know that you can create beautiful structures no matter what path you choose. In short, an Architect is the one who draws and plans the actual building. They take a vision in their minds or from the minds of those who want it built and draw and plan it out. They then take these blueprints and plans and make sure their design can be built according to the location's code and law. Once it is fully designed, a plan is made, and the codes and laws have been checked and approved, the architect then hands over these plans to a contractor. A contractor is the person who physically gets the building built. They deal with the nuts and bolts. They work side by side with the architect and make sure that they are following the architect's plan, that it is safely constructed, hire the crew and labor to put it into reality and make sure it is built according to plan. So you have the chance to either design on paper or be the one who builds it with their hands. Both are so important, both are their own works of art, and both create something spectacular. Each has a different set of skills, but they don't do the same thing. But each will help you finish your dream project and turn it into a reality for you.

But let's dig a little deeper into each job and see what they are at their depths. As an architect, you do need to have a higher education degree with nothing less than a Bachelors degree. They are the ones who unite an artistic vision and the practicality of any dream before anything is built. They are incredibly important at the beginning of the process as the drawings and designs they come up with serve as the reference point for all construction throughout the project. It is an architect's responsibility to make sure their design stays within regulation and code. A good architect provides clear and concise designs for the contractor to follow and the contractor looks to the architect for any questions during construction and relies on their answers. The architect depends on the contractor to make their design a reality. They deal with concepts, interpretation, study style, and design, and helps imagination come alive.

A contractor, on the other hand, is a little different. When it comes to education you don't need a higher education degree. To grow through a company and to get more clients and opportunities, it is always best to have a degree or at least be certified in a lot of different areas to help with the salary earned and in the prospect of what kind of projects they're involved in. A contractor manages the construction of a building, they execute the vision in the blueprints they have been given from the architect, they hire subcontractors and construction workers, and work in tandem to finish the project at hand. A contractor provides a practical approach to a project and works with the architect to create solutions to any problems that might arise on a building site.

So as you can see, both jobs are incredibly important, needed on any project, and cannot exist without the other. Any time you see a building being built, think about all the hands involved, it will make you appreciate it a little more I'm sure. So many people were involved with the building of that new CVS or Starbucks, that it becomes just a little more special. We hope this helped clear up any confusion! Now you know who to call when you're ready to build your dream home and what that process will be like!

Tim Hilkhuijsen