Using an architect vs. an architect technician

Monica DunstanJune 16, 2013
I've heard that an architect technician can do the same work as an architect, but at a lower rate. I would love to save some money on my house plans. Has anyone used a technician? How did it work out?
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A technician may or may not be trained with an architectural degree, thus offers limited design ideas compared with a trained architect. So you do get what you paid for.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:06PM
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If you know what you want like some plan you like from the internet but want to add 2' to the rear then go with a technician. Design is a subjective thing where the difference between good and bad design can't be defined but can certainly be felt. Technical drawings are objective things and are more of on engineering endeavor.

Each individual's different of course as there's great rechnicians as well as poor architects but to expand on Dytecture's observation of getting what you pay for reminds me of an observation by John Ruskin, an economist and a bunchnof other stuff. He called it the Common Law of Business Balance and you can keep it in mind not only in seclecting your desinger but contractor as well:

"There is hardly anything in the world that someone cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and the people who consider price alone are that persons lawful prey. It's unwise to pay too much, but it's worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money, that is all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot, it can't be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better."
3 Likes    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 12:41PM
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Monica Dunstan
Thank you Dytechture and Architectrunnerguy. What you say makes sense. If I am.going to save money in the beginning, yet have to pay out again later to.fix something that wasn't done right in the first place ill only end up paying the same or more in the long run. Might as well get something done right the first time. Thanks.
    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:14PM
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I would pull a permit on work being done. The city engineer is not going to let a poor design get off the ground. Your contractor is your biggest investment...not necessarily in cost, but in execution. Make sure (s)he pays attention to detail and makes well thought out suggestions. When I general contract a job, I want to be there from the get go, tweaking the design to meet the function.
1 Like    Bookmark   June 16, 2013 at 1:26PM
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Sean Catherall, AIA
Monica, I don't know where you're located; but, where I'm located (the U.S.), there is no state-licensed profession called "architect technician". That means that, in the U.S., there are licensed architects who are trained at an accredited school, who have completed and documented an internship with one or more licensed architects and completed their experience in each of many areas of practice and who have passed a multitude of tests verifying their expertise--and then there's everyone else. In the U.S., anyone who calls himself or herself an architect technician is either in the process of becoming a licensed architect (and therefore is working on completing their testing and their internship with a licensed architect--meaning they're moonlighting doing residential design on their own) or they're perpetrating a fraud by using the word "architect" in their title to perform architectural services while not holding a license to perform such services. I would steer clear of anyone who calls themselves an "architect technician".
    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 8:23AM
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Year old
    Bookmark   August 22, 2014 at 12:34PM
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