It is not an inexpensive or casual undertaking to renovate or alter a building, make an addition to an existing building or make a new building altogether on vacant, natural land.  Those who would embark on such an activity are well advised to identify their aspirations, organize their wants and needs and approach their project with feasibility as a guiding force in their planning, regardless of whether they have a king’s ransom to spend or only a small portion of equity.  Help in succeeding with these initiatives is central to the way in which an architect can provide service to a client.

There are many alternative approaches to standard full services.  Many clients of architects have narrowed their scope to seek a basic, partial service; a service that culminates before the construction has commenced and delivers as its result a simple set of basic drawings limited to satisfying four fundamental objectives:

  1. Convey a building design that is attractive and well-proportioned in its appearance,
  2. Convey a building design that flows very well and is efficient in its layout,
  3. Serve a builder as a starting point for estimating construction cost and
  4. Accompany an application for a building permit.

There are points to win and points to concede on both sides of the Full Service vs Partial Service debate.  While I prefer the mutual benefits that come through the practice of Full Service, I also understand the motivations that drive a Partial Service approach.  Any prospective client to an architect would be well positioned to have considered the benefits and disadvantages of each approach and to have discussed  with their prospects the best approach to their own unique success prior to selecting their architect.