Architect or builder? How much do titles matter?

I had lunch recently with some builders and architects. The conversation turned to architects who also build. We pondered how many residential architects are also responsible for buying and installing products. These types of businesses are, of course, also known as design/build firms. The two architects at the table were design/builders so they certainly were qualified to comment on the topic. After discussing the value of building their own designs, the conversation focused on the impression this leaves on the homeowner. Both architects at the table said that, in the end, their clients view them as builders. This, they said, is neither right nor wrong; it’s simply the reality, and they are fine with it. The homeowners’ perception of these two architects as builders reflects a job well done. These architects did such a good job designing and constructing their clients’ homes, they successfully blurred the line between architect and builder. The role of architect and builder are separate and defined, and each brings value to the table, but they are also interrelated. So, from the client’s perspective, does it really matter how they remember you, or is the quality of your work what matters most? As an architect who also builds, would you be upset to be remembered by your clients as their builder? As a builder who also designs, would it upset you if your clients thought of you as their architect? Share your thoughts by sending me an e-mail. Or, scroll up to the first paragraph of this blog entry, look to the right and click where you see, “Leave a comment†or “Post or view comments.â€

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