5 Surprising Facts To Choose An Architect or A Builder


Do you know that there are differences between architects and builders? Do you know what these differences are?

builder is a professional who can build a home or condo from scratch. Meanwhile, an architect is the one who designs the buildings and creates their blueprints. The builders will use these blueprints as references during the construction process.

However, both professions also share common duties and tasks. In this article, we will highlight these similarities and differences so that you will know how home builders and architects can work together to build your dream home.

1. Jobscope

The Architect

Architects are designers. They design structures such as houses, condominiums, shopping centres, commercial buildings, office buildings, and factories. The visual look of the building is one of the most important factors that an architect needs to take into consideration. In addition, an architect must also make sure these structures will be functional, safe, economical, and suit the needs of the people who will use them.

Architects work mostly in the office as most of the designs will be done there. In the office, they meet with clients, identify their needs, draft plans, work with the clients’ budgets, and develop architecture in line with the building’s functionality and environmental impact. Architects need to visit construction sites to follow up with the progress of projects and make sure contractors are following the building plan that they created.

Image Credit: Architecturelab

Being an architect usually requires the ability to do the following:

  • Start projects from early concept through design development
  • Prepare drawings and construction documents according to the client’s needs
  • Design and document commercial and industrial building projects
  • Consult with clients to determine their requirements
  • Organize and manage approval documents
  • Be a team player who works with the contractor, subcontractors, and engineer
  • Resolve complex design issues with an innovative and practical solution

Architects begin designing a project during the early stages of development. First, they meet with the client to understand their needs for the project. The architects must consider a lot of factors such as the site, environment, culture, and history, which may be subject to local and federal regulations, building codes, and local planning and zoning laws. The architect also needs to think about whether the building materials required can fit the given budget.

The Builder

Image Credit: Builderscrack

A builder is responsible for the physical construction of buildings. Generally, a builder, like their title suggests, constructs a building. A builder’s work comprises translating designs, construction processes such as framing houses, installing sheathing and subfloors, building foundations, installing roofing, planning schedules, and finishing work. A builder’s mastery of construction project management is the key element in successful building projects. In constructing buildings, a builder performs the following roles:

  • Performing buildability and maintainability analysis
  • Preparing Production Management Documents
  • Managing the production process on-site

2. Needs

If you are looking for a unique house that expresses your individuality, you may need an architect. An architect is the one who creates amazing ideas and skilfully drafts out design plans to maximise the potential of your project. An architect can help you design your house according to your requirements and solve even the most complex design problems, thus elevating your dream home to another level. Thus, architects can be considered professional 3D problem solvers! Truly good building design will inspire, delight, and provide a life-enhancing environment for decades.

Image Credit: Archigardener

A builder is seen as the captain of the ship or the conductor of the orchestra. A builder builds a house from scratch. Builders also perform renovations, excavations, and demolitions. Their speciality lies in doing particular tasks in construction, including on-site work such as manual labour and operating machinery.

Usually, hiring an architect is much more expensive than hiring a builder. However, an architect possesses the expertise to point you towards the right resources, so they will help find you a good builder. If you are seeking a creatively designed house, then hiring an architect may be the best option for your needs.

3. Qualifications

According to the Board of Architects Singapore, to register as an architect in Singapore, you will need to:

  • have an approved academic qualification in architecture;
  • have an appropriate practical experience in architectural work; and
  • pass the professional practice examination, oral or written examination prescribed and approved by the Board.

In addition, the Board must receive satisfactory proof that an applicant for registration possesses the right attitude, knowledge, skills, and fitness for the position.

Applicants must possess the following academic qualifications, as required under Section 15(1) of the Architects Act:

  • Degree of Bachelor of Architecture (before 2001) from the National University of Singapore or the Degree of Masters of Architecture from the National University of Singapore or the Singapore University of Technology and Design;
  • Other degrees, diploma or qualification which the Minister may, after consultation with the Board and by notification in the Gazette, approve for the purpose of entitling the holder thereof to be registered under this Act; or
  • other proper and recognised training in architecture that satisfies the Board and the passing of oral or written examinations prescribed by the Board.
Image Credit: Easyuni

And according to the Building and Construction Authority Singapore, the requirements to get a builder’s license are:

  • A course leading to a Bachelor’s degree or postgraduate degree in any field
  • A course conducted by BCA known as Essential Knowledge in Construction Regulations & Management for Licensed Builders
  • At least 3 to 8 years (in aggregate) of practical experience in the execution of construction projects (whether in Singapore or elsewhere) after attaining the corresponding qualification

4. Relationships

Image Credit: Hammer And Hand

The relationships between architects, builders, and clients are closely related. Both the architect and the builder are working together to reach the common goal of building your dream house. They form a triangular relationship with the clients. One cannot function well without the help of the other. A builder needs an architect as much as the architect needs the builder. They are connected to each other, so if they do well, they can achieve an effective dynamic and improve customer satisfaction.

If you own a landed home, it is advisable to work with an architect first. Explain your needs and share details regarding the design concept, the number of rooms, the doors, windows, hallways, garden, swimming pool (if applicable), and how each of these elements should be laid out. The architect will then draft out the blueprints as a rough vision according to these details. These blueprints are then handed to the builder, who will translate them into a real house.

5. Benefits

It is great to have someone to turn your dream house into a reality. It is a place you call your home, so an architect should be professionally trained to work on the design and planning. They are the first people you turn to when building your house.

Benefits of Hiring Architect:

  • Expert Guidance
  • Custom Design
  • Budgeting & Material Selection
  • Contract Negotiation Experience
  • Construction Oversight
  • Higher Resale Value

The next step would be hiring a builder, who translates the architect’s design plans into a real house. The builders have the knowledge, experience, and skills needed to comprehend every element of the construction process.

Photo by Pedro Miranda on Unsplash

Benefits of Hiring Builder:

  • Expertise and Knowledge in Home Building
  • Having Strong Relationship With Subcontractors
  • Systematic and Streamlined Process

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