It’s no secret that getting a remodel or new home build underway in La Plata or Archuleta County can be tough these days.  U.S. News & World Report named Colorado as the eighth fastest growing state in the nation in 2021, with a population increase of nearly 15%.

No wonder property owners face challenges securing a builder for Southwest Colorado projects.  You can give yourself an advantage—by working with an architect.  Dan Featheringill, past board member of the HBASC with experience as both a contractor and registered architect, tells how.

  • A well-respected architect can help you appeal to a contractor. In the La Plata and Archuleta county building industry everyone knows everyone else, and architects usually have a few builders and remodelers they like to work with.  The colleagues then “feed off each other,” Dan explains, “working together to solve problems in planning, permitting, and beyond.”  The ideal scenario is to sign up with an architect/builder duo who respect each other and make a good team from the start.
  • If you simply can’t find a builder with time to spare on the near horizon, Dan suggests hiring an architect to draft plans in advance. “Plans define your project,” he emphasizes.  When you invite builders to bid based on solid blueprints, you can then compare apples to apples.  Dan cautions you to make sure the finished plans ultimately belong to you, not the architect.
  • Architects come with credentials. In Southwest Colorado, builders and remodelers are not licensed by the state—architects are.  These professionals are the ones with the education, training, and experience to guide you, whereas if you work with a draftsperson or directly with a builder and run into issues, you may have no recourse.

There are many reasons working with an architect makes sense: you can lean on their knowledge of the latest in materials, their experience with local building codes, their understanding of green practices, and more. Ultimately, a well-designed project pays off in functionality and resale value down the road.

Today there’s an even more fundamental advantage: an architect can help get your project off the ground.

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