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  • Britney Heerten

Why Do I Need An Architect?

Do I really need an architect? I am writing this to answer some of the most popular questions people have about hiring an architect. I will be honest, I had no idea just how much an architect did before I started working in this industry, so I know that most people out there do not either. When it comes time to invest in your own space for a business you have started it is important that you choose the perfect space for it. What if you can't find that perfect space move in ready? That is when you need to hire an architect. Perhaps you are just starting out and you want to start small, that is okay. You do not have to invest in an entire building,but we can help you with that as well. A lot of small businesses start out in a rented tenant space. The space can be transformed to work best for you and your business.

Here at Designform, we take time to research each of your needs and desires for your new space, help you to budget for them, provide you with a preview of options for what your space will look like, and help you to hire a reliable contractor that we will work alongside for the construction and completion of your space. I have created a list of questions and answers to help you get started:


Why do I need and architect? What all can they do to help me?

Merriam Webster Dictionary defines architect as: A person who designs buildings and

advises in their construction. This is true, but does not explain the full range

of services that architects offer. We hope that these questions and answers will help

you to understand an architects role more completely. Here is a list of services

Designform offers:

• Architectural Design

• Site Planning

• Space Planning

• Feasibility Planning

• Interior Design

• Project Management

• Cost Management

• Computer Visualization (3D views, models,renderings, and digital walk-troughs)

• Construction Documentation

• Construction Contract Administration

• Architectural Signage/Graphic Design

• Zoning Representation

• Programming

• Furniture Coordination

• Permit Assistance


How does the design process work?

• At Designform we first have a kick off meeting to meet the Owner and

discuss the Owner's expectations, goals, and vision for the space.

• After Designform gets a sense of what the Owner has envisioned, we move on to

the Schematic Design Phase. This phase is where an idea gets realized in the form

of sketches, renderings, and test layouts.

• With the Owner approved Schematic Design, Designform will develop additional

details, drawings, and specifications to further develop and describe the character

of the project in a phase called Design Development.

• Based on the owner approved drawings and any further adjustments in the scope and/or the budget for the Project, Designform will prepare Construction Documents consisting of drawings and specifications that will describe the scope of work and be suitable for filing with the Building Department and for construction by a qualified Contractor.


What kind of space do I need?

• There are several options when determining the best space for your new business

such as: New construction, renovation to an existing building, or tenant build-out in a

rentable space. You may want to consider location, expandability, age of an existing

building, etc. Different building materials are used for different types of building

projects. Designform is knowledgeable of all types of construction and is prepared to

assist you in determining the best approach for your company.


How much do you charge?

• The type of project and the amount of services provided will determine your

cost. Some projects are based on a percentage while other smaller projects

may be hourly not to exceed an agreed upon amount. Invoices will be billed

monthly based on the work that has been provided for that month.


Who will manage my project?

• A Designform project manager will be assigned to you and you will also be

aided by the Client Service Representative, COO, and Principal. This project

management team will handle each step of the project.


Can you help me with Interior Design?

• Yes, Designform’s staff is experienced in interior design and can help you

coordinate furnishings, audio visual equipment, and finishes.


Do you recommend engineers?

• Yes, Designform has worked with many engineering firms and will reach out to

the correct engineers to assist with any engineering that your project requires.


What can you tell me about the area I’m building in?

• Designform does extensive research to make sure that all ordinances are

observed and permit requirements are acknowledged. Each City may observe

different building codes and Designform will ensure that your project meets all

of the requirements.


Will you be involved during the construction phase?

• Yes, if we are providing full architectural services we will be involved until the

very end. We will be available to handle any questions or issues that may arise

during construction as well as act as your representative on site.


What Contractor will I use?

• Designform can help you choose from several contractors that we know and

trust or you can choose one of your own. Designform can help you with

bidding and negotiation if you would like to get quotes from multiple

contractors.


Designform wants to help you design your dream space. Call us when you’re ready!

205-324-0018



Example of a tenant space transformed by Designform:

Example of a tenant space transformed by Designform:





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LOCATION

1500 Urban Center Drive

Suite, 220 

Vestavia Hills, AL 35242

CONTACT

205.324.0018

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