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!