Architects have always been applauded for their high creativity and unique ability to take bits and form a whole while grasping viewer attention. They may not be eulogized enough, but their impact is seen and felt everywhere. From hanging stairways to structures built on water, or the edge of a cliff, while resisting natural pressures such as wind and rain, we see architectural masterpieces every day.
And so, when it is time to put up your own structure, you also want to go for the best that is not outside your budget of course, but you are stuck. Should I go for architects who work alone or should I employ the services of an architectural company?
To answer this simple and fundamental question, we would simply look at the basic differences between these two guys and suggest a better option.
A freelance architect is basically that guy who works by himself and chooses to represent himself in a contract to design buildings using a variety of blueprints and construction drawings. He is not tied to any firm and most often reports to no one.
An architectural company, on the other hand, is a firm that employs one or more licensed architects and is centered on practicing the profession of architecture. Many architectural companies also offer architectural services.
A freelance architect is a great option to hire if you can go through the hassles of a background checks and ensuring the person is certified. There are freelance architects out there who are doing amazingly well in their niche, but there are still those ones who will appear with a mountain of excellent appraisals and still deliver shitty jobs. The bad news is you have no one to hold responsible but them, and since they work alone, these things can drag on for a long period, causing you a waste of time and resources.
Architectural companies on the other hand are more structured and usually have more than one architect with vast experiences. The good thing about outsourcing your project to an architectural firm is the fact that they can produce more than one architect for you to work with, especially if it is a rather big project that requires a lot of skills and expertise from different professionals.
Most people simply take a look at the project at hand and determine by the size of the project (a small renovation, or a 20 storey building project) and decide to either hire a freelance architect for the job or work with an architectural company.
Cost-wise, it would be easier to think that freelance architects charge less, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, depending on the project, some reputable freelance architects charge more than an architectural company.
Deciding on whether to hire a freelance architect or to work with an architectural firm depends on your risk level. It is often safer to simply work with an architectural firm if you’ve got moderate to large projects at hand. This will save you from a lot of hassles and keep the firm accountable.