Should You Hire an Architect to Design a Screened Porch?

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James Moylan

Tuesday, March 17, 2020


3 Important Reasons You Don’t Have to Hire an Architect to Build a High-End Screen Porch

There’s a common misconception about the high-end outdoor living space industry that architects are a vital, indispensable part of the design process. While they can be used to help conceptualize and design screen porches and other outdoor spaces, there are just as many compelling reasons to avoid architects in this process.


Diversification of Projects

Architects draft a variety of construction work. This is great for architects, but not necessarily for potential customers looking to build high-end screen porches because it indicates a lack of specialization in outdoor space construction.

When you’re looking to build your custom outdoor space, you want to work with a build and design team that specializes in outdoor spaces, pavilions, decks, patios, outdoor kitchens, and more. Bringing that particular eye and expertise is going to make the entire process more seamless and the end result as beautiful and up-to-date with industry standards as possible.

Cost-Effective Approach

Experienced designers and builders are important to any construction project, but not many people consider how using them can actually save money. Using a company that specifically does outdoor spaces rather than a general architect ensures you work with professionals who have done many of these outdoor spaces. They’re more experienced with the available materials, which allows them to better cost engineer your project according to your budget and desired aesthetic. The construction team will also be well versed with installation, and this saves time as well as potentially costly mistakes or improper installs.

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An architect will undoubtedly provide a beautiful set of plans, but there isn’t necessarily going to be a lot of real-world thought about the applicability of that plan to your space. For that service, architects can charge upwards of 15 percent of the projected budget for any outdoor space. That’s a large chunk of a given budget to dedicate solely to this one aspect.

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Continuity of Construction

If you do work with an architect, you will then have to separately find a qualified builder. Once the designs are finished and the architect has received payment, his or her obligations are fulfilled. There’s no requirement or stipulation of involvement in the build process. You lose, therefore, a lot of the continuity from conception to realization, and this can range from an inconvenience to a serious problem.

Working with multiple teams requires a lot of coordination and logistical work, and it’s not the most conducive to your vision taking precedence. When everyone is working on the same team toward the same project (from conception to revisions to install), everyone on that team becomes an advocate for the customer. There’s no infighting or finger pointing about an architect doing it one way and the build team preferring another.

Every member of that design build team can bring experience and advice to implement a plan for a high-end outdoor screen porch that’s less likely to run into design or install issues. With experience and a single goal of fully realizing the customer’s design concept, the team can also effectively combat unexpected problems that do arise.

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