Architects are recommended for larger projects and buildings that will be more than three stories tall. I have a degree in Architecture and was in the field for about 8 years. An architect is required to have the following: Successful completion of required university courses specific to the architectural field. 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Find an architect or a building designer near you. Save up to 50% on tuition and fees. You can get equally show-stopping results from both architects and building designers, and the cost for the services of each are actually very similar. Difference Between Building Designer & Architect. Think of an architect as the Master Designer and Project Facilitator. “A building designer will typically charge between 3-5% of the build costs, whereas an architect may charge between 7-10% of the build costs and some reputable, boutique architects can charge more,” Deacon says. Most go on to earn a master's degree and pass the Architect Registration Examination. The main difference is that architects have a license from a regulating body, such as the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada. Architects are professionals trained in design theory, engineering, and project management, while design-builders sometimes do not have academic training in those fields. They are educated and trained to take charge of the construction of a building from the initial design stage to the hammering of the final nail. If you would like the architect to manage the project, solicit bids, choose the contractor and subcontractors, control money, and oversee work; they will charge an additional 5% to 10% of the cost of the project. They work closely with drafters, contractors and building inspectors making sure the structure meets all city and state codes. Architects often take on the design and construction of a structure much like a civil engineers design and build roads, bridges, and dams for the public and private sectors. When choosing between an architect or building designer, you need to do research into their past projects and experience and understand their personal design style as these will factor greatly in whether or not the end result of your project is a success. 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