Often times, a general contracting company will inappropriately use the term “design-build” to describe their services when in fact a licensed architect is not being consulted. They may simply have a “creative” draftsman in their office that has basic drafting skills.
The fact is, general contractors are expected to be skilled craftsmen that excel in the art of construction. They are not trained architects or space planners. Expecting a contractor to design a building, places an unnecessary burden upon him that he is not trained to solve. One just needs to look at the many mediocre homes that populate our communities!
Conversely, while architects are trained in the design and constructability of a building, they cannot provide a definitive construction budget. At best, they can consult trade publications that may or may not accurately reflect the current costs based upon industry averages.
Architects take a holistic view of the entire project. They realize that no part of the project exists in a vacuum and therefore, each and every component of a project affects the others.
By the way, most townships and communities in Pennsylvania require construction documents to be prepared by a licensed architect.