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Small homes, or accessory dwelling units (ADUs), are becoming increasingly popular across the United States. ADUs can provide various home benefits, from added income to more space. But before you decide to build an ADU on your property, you may be wondering if you need an architect to help with the process.
The answer is: it depends. In some states, like Oregon, you must have an architect or professional engineer sign and stamp the construction drawings for an ADU. This ensures that the ADU meets all the necessary building code requirements. If you live in a state where you are not required to have an architect, you may still want to consider hiring one. A reliable ADU contractor in Portland can help you design your ADU, ensuring that it fits your specific needs and the needs of any potential renters.
Why do you Need an Architect for an ADU?
While it’s not always necessary to have an architect for an ADU project, there are several good reasons to consider hiring one.
1. To Help You with the Design
An architect can help you design your ADU, ensuring that it fits your specific needs and the needs of any potential renters. They can also ensure that the ADU meets all the necessary building code requirements. The last thing you want is for your ADU to be rejected by the city because it doesn’t meet the code. Most clients go for ADUs that architects design because it just makes the process easier and lessens the burden on them.
2. To Get Permits
If you’re planning on adding an ADU to your property, you’ll need to obtain the necessary permits from the city. This can be a complicated process, and it’s important to ensure everything is done correctly. An architect can help you with this by ensuring that your plans meet the city’s requirements. That way, you can avoid delays or complications in the permitting process.
3. To Get Insurance
Adding an ADU to your property will increase your insurance costs. Even if you’re not planning on living in the unit, you’ll need to insure it in case of any damage. An architect can help you figure out the right insurance for your needs and ensure that you’re covered in any accidents. The best way to avoid any costly surprises down the line is to plan and get everything in order before you start construction.
4. Ensure Compliance with ADU Regulations
Each state has different regulations when it comes to ADUs. An architect can help you make sure that your plans comply with all the necessary regulations. Some states need an architect or professional engineer to sign and stamp the construction drawings for an ADU. This ensures that the ADU meets all the necessary building code requirements.
5. They can be a Project Manager
You may consider hiring an architect as your project manager. They can help you find the right contractor and ensure the construction process goes smoothly. This is especially helpful if you’re not familiar with the construction process.
6. To Save Your Money
Hiring an architect may seem costly, but it can save you money in the long run. An architect can help you avoid costly mistakes, such as not getting the necessary permits or not complying with regulations. They can also help you get the most out of your budget by finding the right contractors and materials. In the end, hiring an architect may save you money rather than cost you more.
7. They can be a Valuable Resource
An architect can be a valuable resource during the construction process. They can help you troubleshoot problems and answer any questions that you may have, especially if you’re unfamiliar with the construction process.
How to Choose the Right Architect for your Project?
There are many things to consider when choosing an architect. Here are some tips to help you choose the right architect for your project.
1. Find an Architect who Specializes in ADU design.
Many architects specialize in designing ADUs. You can find them online or ask for recommendations from friends and family. When you meet with an architect, ask about their experience designing ADUs. Make sure they have experience designing the type of ADU you want to build.
2. Choose an Architect who is Familiar with the Building Code.
The building code is a set of regulations that must be followed when constructing an ADU. It is important to choose an architect who is familiar with the building code so that they can help you comply with the regulations.
3. Choose an Architect who is Familiar with Zoning Regulations.
Zoning regulations are rules that determine where an ADU can be built. It is important to choose an architect who is familiar with zoning regulations so that they can help you choose a location for your ADU that will comply with the rules.
When adding an ADU to your property, there are many benefits to working with an architect. They can help you save money, avoid costly mistakes, and ensure the process goes smoothly. However, you may want to consider the drawbacks before making a decision. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether or not working with an architect is worth the investment.