Architect or builder, who should built your new home?

Should You Hire an Architect or a Custom Builder to Build your Next Home?

After answering the obvious question of whether you want a custom home or not (the answer should be yes) it is important to think about how you want your custom home to be built.

Designing a home is not an easy task and there are many avenues one can take before arriving at the final product of their home. Choosing who executes and approves the final floor plans is one of the first decisions one will have to make. The age-old differences between an architect and a custom builder still exist today to an extent which is why it is imperative to know the differences between the two.

The Builder

Traditionally seen as a man of the earth, the modern custom builder comes in many shapes and sizes, accessorized with a tool belt of expertise and experience. A custom builder will often work from an existing set of plans that will be tailored to meet the general needs of the client. This process implies less time spent conceptualizing a home and having it built faster. Custom builders operate with the mindset that prioritizes the time and money going into a project. The budget is a very important part of a project and it is not fair for the client to receive a rough estimate from someone who isn’t as well-versed in obtaining labour, material and permits. However, when it comes to unique designs or perhaps achieving certain standards for your home, a custom builder may not be as knowledgeable as you’d like. They work from an existing set of plans and make minor adjustments that will suit the client. Custom builders are not licensed in the same way architects are and cannot conceptualize a complete home in the way that an architect may be able to. It is also important to note that there is no guarantee in the education or certification with a custom builder, though their work history and experience will likely prove otherwise.

The Artist

The architect is someone who is highly trained and developed to think and create unique, yet practical, design solutions. Architects are known to be creative problem solvers and often require years of schooling and experience before they are certified in their field. To obtain premium architectural floor plans for homes that are LEED certified or have a Green Building designation, architects are the ones clients should be directing their vision to. Creating something beautiful with a certain aesthetic that is also functional, while meeting the client’s needs, is no easy task. Architects are sometimes criticized for being so artistic that they lose sight of the budget – which is where the reality check of the custom builder comes in. In an ideal situation, an architect would run its design through a custom builder to assess its feasibility and realistic budget and provide the client with a timeline of when they can expect their home to be completed.

The Multi-Skilled Companies

Construction techniques have shifted and many build companies are beginning to hire their own architects, builders and project managers. Going with a design-build company has benefits that include ease of communication, streamlined processes and established contacts. BONE Structure understands that the best way to deliver a home is by offering the unique services of both a trusted architect and custom builder from within their company to the client. BONE Structure understands the importance of smoothing and improving the entire construction process, from start to finish, with consistent and constant involvement. These improvements include short and exact timelines, cost control through precision design and by delivering a premium home product. BONE Structure prides itself on its communication with clients, by eliminating the barriers between the traditional customer builder and the architect.


It goes without saying that both a custom builder and an architect each have their own unique benefits that they can contribute to a custom home project, and in an ideal situation, you would be able to have both with excellent communication skills and that respect one another’s expertise. To conclude, the answer to whether an architect or custom builder is more suited for executing a custom home is obvious: go with the person who will share your vision, listen to your needs and is excited to work with you on your future custom home.

BONE Structure. (2016). 9 Steps to your New Home.
Retrieved from BONE Structure: https://bonestructure.ca/en/process/

Discover. (2014, 12 01). Custom Builder or Architect? Who Should Design Your Next Home?
Retrieved from Discover: https://www.discover.com/home-loans/blog/custom-builder-or-architect-who-should-design-your-next-home

Oliver, F. (2006, 11 01). Builder Versus Architect.
Retrieved from Custom Builder Online: http://www.custombuilderonline.com/builder-versus-architect