Architect vs. Designer - Should I Hire an Architect for a Remodel?

Architect vs. Designer - Should I Hire an Architect for a Remodel?

With visions of paint samples dancing in your head, you decide to undertake a home remodel. Few things are as thrilling about home ownership than giving your house a makeover.

One of the principle decisions about a home remodel is whether to use an architect or building designer… or both. If you’re on the fence, read on to find out the benefits of each professional and when to use an architect vs. designer.


While many designers and architects have know-how in both construction and home planning, they also specialize in their own respective interests. Before any remodeling project, you may ask yourself, “Should I hire an architect for my remodel?” In truth, the nature of your specific project will determine whether you need a designer or architect.

What Is an Architect?

Architects are licensed to handle the overall design and construction of a new building. Do you need an architect for an addition? If your remodel includes changes to a load-bearing structure, you may need to hire a professional architect to draw the plans and facilitate its creation. Architects may also have an eye for design and can offer suggestions for aspects of your aesthetic, but this is not typical.

What Is a Home Designer?

Building designers may have less training with the exterior of your structure, but their niche skill-set comes in handy. A good home designer will take a spacious layout and turn it into a magazine-ready living space. Building designers are frequently able to aid in the home design process by creating custom floor plans. If your remodel includes the tear-down or building of any new walls or structures, home designers will typically employ the help of building contractors.


When beginning a remodel, it’s common to assume you will need an architect to create your building plans. Knowing when to hire an architect and when to hire a home designer can have a significant impact on the budget of your remodel.

An architect often costs more to employ than a home designer. So, ask yourself – Do I need an architect to draw plans? You might consider an architect in situations such as:

  • Extending the square footage of your home
  • Building a new guest house from the ground up
  • Raising the ceilings in your den
  • Tearing down interior walls and rebuilding the floorplan
  • Doing a remodel that involves a load-bearing wall


If your project doesn’t check any of the above boxes, consider working with a home designer. Your designer can handle both planning and interior aspects of your remodel or new construction. The Plans & Permits team can draft custom home plans in Houston.

A home designer can help you:

  • Choose a color palette for a remodel project
  • Design your new home layout
  • Pick out flooring and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms
  • Deal with subcontractors for minor construction projects

Evaluating whether to use an architect vs. designer is a major decision on the road toward a new home style. Hiring an architect can often be an unnecessary expense.

Home designers have impeccable taste and can help you coordinate with contractors when you have significant changes in mind. Contact Plans & Permits today to find out more about using a home designer for your next remodel.

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