"Whether you're about to expand your current facility, adapt an existing structure to a new use, or construct an entirely new building, your building project represents a major investment that will affect the productivity and efficiency of your organization for years. Smart decision-makers know the way to maximize such an investment begins with consulting an architect. Architects have the education, training, experience and vision to maximize your construction dollar and ease the entire design and construction process."

The AIA Ohio has a wonderful website where all of the questions a homeowner or building owner may think to ask. Click here to find this and more:

"Your architect will bring you an independent and fresh look at your needs and suggest creative ways of meeting those needs. He or she will be ale to save you time, money and avoid many problems during the building process. In the United States, as in most countries, drawings for buildings and changes to existing buildings, by law, must be prepared by a registered architect.

"Useful books which may help you choose the right architect for your project are "A Beginners Guide to Architectural Services" and "You and Your Architect," both published by The American Institute of Architects" and are available from Brower & Associates or AIA Utah.

Susan Grant, an architect in the Chicago area, has an amazing website that answers most, if not all, questions about architects. On her home page, she asks and answers the following question:

"How Do You Know if You are Getting What You Paid For when your Contractor gives you a price?

"If you were in the market for an upscale car, and bought a new 6-passenger vehicle with a V-8 engine, 4 doors, fully loaded luxury sedan with a leather interior for $42K, you may have paid a fair market price. If, however, you paid $42K for a 4-cylinder economy car (no A/C, w/ manual windows and plastic covered seats? THINKING you would be getting a luxury car, then it might be safe to say that no only didn't [you] get your money's worth, but that you were duped.

I have seen people research the invoice price for a car for three months before they make a decision to purchase. However, these same people apply no such diligence to the purchase of real estate or the cost of building or renovating of a home. Builders (and Developers) know this (about consumers), and they count on making money on your lack of familiarity with building costs and your lack of technical & material/systems knowledge. What can you do to protect your interests?"

Ms. Grant goes on to state:

"It's a myth, that by working directly with a Builder (or Design/Build construction firm), you will save money versus working with an Architect when building a new home. The truth is - for most consumers building a home - what you don't know may cost you tens of thousands (and sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars more than if you were to hire an Architect to serve as your advocate.

"With the right architect, you can actually save 25% (and in some cases, up to 40%) on the construction cost versus buying a comparably (equipped) new home from a design/build company or from a development company."

And finally, she asks, "Would you rely on a paramedic if you needed to be treated for a neurological disorder? Would you expect that a paralegal would give you the same level of legal expertise and assistance that a qualified attorney would provide?"

Thus the question, do you want an architect designing your dream home (and also your largest investment) or a drafting student working for a builder?