Hiring a San Francisco/Bay area Architect vs a “pretender”

Hiring a San Francisco/Bay area Architect vs a “pretender”

So the big question is are Architects expensive?

Fear of the unknown makes most people hire “designers”. The truth is anybody can call themselves a designer because no training, no license is needed. Anybody can start a business without any qualifications, and start laying out spaces etc.

An Architect on the other hand, usually goes through a 5-year undergraduate program, a 2-year masters’ program, a 3-year internship followed by 10 licensing exams to call himself just that. We also need to go through intense training in ADA to renew our license, every two years. If you see AIA, next to a designation, it basically mean that the person is a licensed Architect. NCARB, next to a name means that they have years of experience in all aspect of Architecture and building design, codes, Construction administration etc.

Besides having superior aesthetic sense, architects blend functionality with Codes, Local jurisdiction requirements and deliver a finished product.

So next time, you’re tempted to call a “designer” just cause you think that you’re saving money, you might want to sit down with an Architect and talk to somebody who actually knows what they’re doing and end up saving money in the long run!


HB +A Architects is an interdisciplinary San Francisco Architectural practice involved in design and research that aims to yield innovative, iconic buildings and urban environments. With founder Hafsa Burt serving as design director, the firm today consists of design professionals, who remain committed to the practice of architecture as a collaborative and innovative enterprise. Seeking to build projects worldwide, the firm specializes in Green building beyond LEED certification and Indoor Air Quality, targeting “healthy Buildings”. HB +A Architects is a dynamic and evolving practice that responds to the current social and technological conditions, as a commentary in their work. As a small-sized firm, the firm has the ability to provide hands-on, principal involvement from start to finish.

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