architects and engineers

You May Need Both a Licensed Architect & Engineer for Your Project

If you’re looking for someone to design your new home, an office building, or an addition to an existing space, you need the assistance of many people. Every project needs a licensed architect and some will need an engineer. Of course, a designer is also essential and we talked about how your architect works with your designer previously.

Education & Roles Differ

Although both architects and engineers must graduate from a program accredited by their respective governing boards, pass multiple exams, and intern or study under a professional already licensed in their field, they have different roles. In fact, their training and exams have very little overlap.

As for their roles, a licensed architect helps create the spaces you need in a manner that looks great and works for you, whether a home or commercial building. Architects are trained to lead the entire design team and navigate building codes during the design process. They also have training in solving problems with your space if you’re planning a home remodel. Engineers often focus on the construction and infrastructure of a home or building as well as the electrical and mechanical functions.

Although you don’t always need an engineer for residential projects, if you are considering an addition to your home or a significant remodel, your architect may consult an engineer to ensure that the changes aren’t to structural areas of the home. For commercial projects, you will always need a licensed architect or an engineer.  

How Will I Know if I Need One or Both?

For new home or building construction, you’ll always need an architect. It’s more likely you’ll need an engineer for a commercial space than a home. However, if you’re remodeling any type of space, you may need both. Here are several types of remodels that do often require both an engineer and architect:

  • Home addition – With the removal of a wall or portion of a wall, the home’s structural integrity may be compromised. One goal of an architect is to ensure that the addition looks like the rest of the home. However, they may not be able to determine how those changes impact the home’s structural integrity.
  • Whole home remodel – If you’re looking at moving or removing walls inside your home, you’ll likely need the input of an engineer. Some walls are load bearing. Removal without proper reinforcement may compromise safety.
  • Open concept remodel – If you want to remove the wall between your kitchen and living area, your architect should consult an engineer for the same reasons they would in a whole home remodel.
  • Repurposing of a building – When you buy a building and need to make changes to the layout, you may need an engineer to ensure that the proposed changes don’t impact the safety of the structure.

One more instance where your licensed architect may recommend consulting an engineer is if you are converting your existing asphalt shingle roof to a concrete or clay tile roof. Not all roofs were built to withstand the weight of a tile roof.

Start with an Experienced & Licensed Architect

New construction success starts with an experienced and licensed architect. If you’ve yet to hire one for your project, call Sandbar Architecture. We can help you create a new home, commercial space, or an addition or remodel to either. Of course, when we feel we need the expertise of an engineer, we’ll work with yours or recommend one of the trusted experts we have previously worked with. If you’re ready to get started or have questions for our team, call us at (727) 308-1773 today.