Find a building designer near Denver, CO

Find a building designer near Denver, CO

3 near you

Find a building designer near Denver, CO

3 near you

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Top 3 Building Designers near Denver, CO

Q & A

Answers to commonly asked questions from the experts on Thumbtack.

How do I find a good architect in Denver?

Search online to find the best architects in the Denver area. Narrow your search by deciding what type of architect you want to work with — a large firm, a landscape architect, an architect designer or a freelance architect. 

Review at least five to seven business profiles, reading customer reviews, and looking at photos and descriptions of their past work. Then, contact at least three architects to ask for an estimate. 

But before you hire anyone, verify the pros hold the proper business license and insurance in Denver. For example, you can ask them to send you their license and insurance information, or you can search for individual architects’ licenses through the Colorado State Board.

How do architects work?

Architects may work for an architecture or engineering firm, they may work for a government organization, they can work for a construction company, or they may be self-employed (freelance). The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that architects spend a large amount of their working time in the home or company office: meeting with clients; creating reports and architectural drawings; and working with other architects and engineers. When not in an office, an architect is often at the construction site either as part of the development of plans or to ensure building progress is following the blueprint.

When a client interacts with an architect, it is typically to have them design drawings for the construction of a house or a building. If you are a client who has hired a large architecture firm, there may be a team of people working on your design. But if you are working with a freelance architect or a smaller firm, one person (or a small group) will take your concept and translate it into an architectural blueprint that a builder can use to construct a house. The plans will lay out everything from the depth of the foundation to the materials to use to the type of metal to be used in the reinforcement. Once the plans have been created and handed off to the builder, the architect may remain on the project — depending on budget — and oversee progress.

How do architects charge for their services?

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the median salary of an architect in 2016 was $76,930. This range included architects with every type of company as well as self-employed architects. Depending on the architect and whether they’re with a firm or independent, they may charge per hour or by the square foot, or they may charge a percentage of the total budget for a construction project. An hourly rate is typically used for smaller projects such as providing consultation, helping clients hone their concept before the design process begins, or drafting documents and plans. If an architect is working on an hourly basis on a larger project, there will usually be an agreed-upon cap on the number of hours they will work. For larger projects, such as new construction or total overhaul remodels, architects may charge a percentage of the total construction costs. The architect will usually set the percentage you will pay after the total cost of construction has been accounted for. Percentages can range within a firm depending on the extent of the services they’re providing. For example, a lower percentage of the total construction costs may include drafting and minimal consultation and guidance along the way, while a higher percentage could include on-site project management services with every detail attended to. Architects may also charge by the square footage of the project. The rate per square foot can vary depending on the individual’s training, the services they are providing, the complexity of the project, and other factors — such as obtaining permits. The national average cost to hire an architect is between $1,690 and $2,500.

What do house plans consist of?

In a house plan, you can expect to see an overview of the construction site, floor plans, roof plans, foundation plans, electrical plans, exterior elevation and more. Always ask your architect what they plan to include in your house plan.

Reviews for Denver building designers
Catherine L.
The final plan drawings were good but the process to get there was a challenge. Communication and professionalism was lacking. Alden never came out to measure a single thing on our property and instead asked us to measure and send to him. He would go weeks without responding and gave some pretty weak starting designs that did not make any practical sense. Lastly, after sending the final design plans we asked Alden to submit a quote for the build portion. He said he’d get it to us the next day...that was almost two months ago. Not sure if we just weren’t a priority for him but we were a bit disappointed in the end.
LMC Design-BuildLMC Design-Build
Sylvia L.
Working with Andrew has been an utter nightmare for us. We hired him over 18 months ago to design an addition to our house and have finally received our building permits. During these past 18 months he has caused us unbelievable amounts of stress and anxiety, charged us $19,484 more than his original estimate, asserted his right to “creative license” and made design decisions based on his own preferences rather than ours, and produced work that was repeatedly full of errors, which we (non-architects) pointed out to him and which caused us significant delays. One thing we’ve learned through this awful experience is that we were at the mercy of Andrew as he held total control over our plans and, as a sole practitioner, there are no checks and balances of the accuracy of his work, billing practices, or standard of professional practice. We had no recourse when he went on multiple multi-week vacations during critical times for us delaying our ability to submit or resubmit our plans to the city. We had no one else to communicate with during times when Andrew wouldn’t respond to our calls or emails. We had no ability to get Andrew to work when he was taking months to correct his plans for resubmission. We had no recourse when Andrew forced design decisions on us and billed us hourly for ‘additional services’, which included such things as responding to emails, correcting his own mistakes and oversights, and meeting the requirements for getting a building permit. In order to move forward and get our permits we agreed to unwanted design decisions and paid questionable charges. When we asked Andrew for an itemized invoice so that we could better assess the legitimacy of the charges, he would not provide it. We eventually ended up with a design that we like - and - one that looks eerily similar to what we showed him we wanted before he even began the initial second-story design. Unfortunately, the process took 18 months, cost us significantly more than we anticipated, and was full of errors, conflict and stress. In our opinion, Andrew misrepresented himself and his level of competence. Needless to say, we would highly recommend AGAINST using Andrew, hiring him has been one of the worst decisions we’ve made.
AJA Studio, PCAJA Studio, PC
Thumbtack Customer
We had a project that involved extending our property line into an adjacent lot that we owned which required Denver's approval and then developed plans for a garage / studio and storage space of about 20 by 20. Because of the issues getting our property line moved (the process to get this accomplished with the city extended three plus months) the work was delayed. But Lance stayed in touch with us, and did well recalling our conversations and design goals. He delivered pdfs of the plans through each stage of the process considering various materials and layouts. Lance heard well our goals for the building and sensitively and in very timely ways completed the plans and revisions. Further, he is a resource to recommend those in construction. He has recommended contractors (from surveyors to general contractors as well as window and door contractors) that have proven to be quite reliable. My wife and I enjoyed working with him and his firm. I highly recommend him and his work.
F9 Productions Inc.F9 Productions Inc.
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