Building a home requires a team of experts, including architects, contractors, electricians, plumbers, interior designers, and more. But before you even lay the foundation, the two key experts you need to hire are an architect and a contractor. While both experts have specific roles, in Pakistan, many people don’t know the difference between the two. Keep reading as we discuss the difference between architects and contractors with the aim to enlighten you so that you can hire the right people for your construction project.
Difference Between Architects and Contractors
In Pakistan, few people actually hire architects for residential builds because they either buy prebuilt homes or build homes on plots with predesigned plans. Thus, the lines are somewhat blurred between the roles of an architect and a contractor, with most choosing to discuss their plans and its modifications with the contractor directly, rather than reaching out to an architect.
However, as we discuss the importance of architects and contractors in turn below, you’ll be able to figure out their different roles in construction and why they both are vital for a successful build in their own right.
Role and Importance of Architects in Construction Projects
Are you wondering why you should hire an architect for your build? If you think that you can make do with a contractor alone, you’re probably wrong. Even when you have ready plans in your hands, we’d advise you to seek the guidance of a professional architect if you decide to make structural changes so that the integrity of the build is not compromised.
So, first things first. Who is an architect? An architect is a licensed professional that has majored in design and can create building plans for homes, high-rises, commercial establishments, and so on. The core job of an architect is to not only design a home but also:
- Optimise the use of land
- Cater to the residents’ unique requirements
- Adhere to building safety regulations
- Design the plan in accordance with the interior style demanded by the project
- Offer guidance on the right building materials for a design
- Oversee the construction on-site from time to time
- Reach out to the best contractors for specific builds
Architects usually work with design blueprints, marrying their artistic vision of what a home or a building should be like, with the functionality it needs to offer to create the best and the most practical design. Nothing can be built without an architect giving you a ready blueprint to work with.
Role and Importance of Contractors for Construction Projects
To highlight the importance of architects and contractors while building a home, let’s now focus on the role a contractor plays in the process. But first, who is a contractor? A contractor is like a project manager that is on-site throughout the build and works closely with the architect, labourers, and other experts, to ensure that the project is built as per the specifications of the client and as per the specified deadline.
Aside from managing the construction project, a contractor also:
- Discusses the client’s expectation with them
- Estimates project costs
- Oversees the building crew
- Procures all of the raw material
- Ensures that the architect’s design is followed completely
- Hires subcontractors as needed for various jobs
- Executes the architect’s vision to perfection
- Resolves all unexpected issues on site
- Adding finishing touches to electrical, flooring, and roofing jobs
Most contractors might not actually have specific qualifications or degrees for their job. They’re usually individuals who began working as repairmen and handymen and moved towards contractual work over time, as they built more and more contacts and could hire people under them to actually build on-site for them. They’re people who’ve been in the trade for years and know a lot of DIY hacks for common construction problems as well as being on good terms with suppliers of various raw materials, fixtures, and fittings that are needed for a build.
On the whole, if you consider the above, the build is incomplete without an architect to design a blueprint, but unless you want to do the legwork yourself, a contractor is the best person to manage the entire project for you on-site. Thus, the roles of an architect and a contractor differ significantly from one another in terms of qualification and expertise, but the relationship is complementary.
An architect offers a well-designed plan for the contractor to follow for the build, while a contractor refers back to the architect for any questions that crop up during the project. Together, they see their vision and their hard work come to life for a result that pleases their client in the end.
You now have a better understanding of the core difference between architects and contractors in relation to their roles in the construction industry. Hire professionals for your build, keeping the above criteria and qualifications in mind to get the best results. Here’s some extra help on how you should select the right architect for your project. You can also check how to select a contractor for the build if you need further guidance.
If you choose not to hire experts like these to help you out, you’ll probably end up building your house on your own. As there are quite a few pros and cons of building your home on your own in Pakistan, we’d advise you to rethink your decision as constructing your dream residence in any city without professional help can be a mammoth task.