What Am I Responsible For During An Architectural Project?



    We may not realize it, but there is a lot that goes into designing and planning an architectural project. And not all of the responsibilities fall on the architect and their team.  As a client, you have tasks that you are in charge of. So, what might you be responsible for during your remodel, addition, or new construction?



Soils Report

   A soils report is a report done on the conditions of the earth. The report helps the architect know what type of foundation should be used based on the site conditions, soil composition, and ground water levels. A licensed geotechnical engineer is the one who conducts the report. So as the client, you will be in charge of requesting and obtaining the soils report. Your architect should be able to direct you on how to do this.

Architecture Soils Report





    In the case of architecture, surveys are a method of determining three dimensional points, distances, and angles. You are also responsible for handling any surveys when needed. Below is a list of some of the surveys you may need for your project.

-Topographical Survey – these surveys are used to outline the ground and existing features above the earth’s surface, below it, and on it. These “existing features” are trees, buildings, streets, retaining walls, etc.


-Environmental Survey – these surveys are used in the case that the site has been affected by hazardous substances. An environmental engineer will come out to take a look at the site and come up with a plan to remove the substances and make sure the site is safe.


-Photometric Survey – this survey is a topographical survey that has been taken from an aerial view.


-Traffic Impact Studies – this survey is used to determine the effects the structure being built will have on the transportation network in the community.


-Soils Report – this survey is used to determine the condition of the earth and what type of foundation will work best for the structure being built.

Architecture Surveys




       You may choose to do your own submitting of the documents or hire the architectural firm to do it for you. These documents contain information, drawings, samples, etc. and need to be taken to the city for approval. This is a pretty easy task to complete, as it is just taking the documents down to your city hall and submitting them for review in the building department.

City Submittals


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   The city charges fees at different stages of the project such as, planning, building, surveys, and final permit insurance. It is your responsibility to pay the fees on time. The fee amount is generally based on the size and type of project.

Architecture Fee's




Design Change

    You are responsible to communicate any changes to the plan sets at the earliest opportunity. Most owners don't realize that changes mean additional work and additional fees from all departments. Changes are best made in the design phase to avoid a scope change. To make a change, talk to the architect and have the drawings redrawn. Once the new drawings are done, you will need to take them to the city to be approved.

Design Change




    If you have any questions on how to complete or where to go to complete these tasks, the architect will be able to help you. We hope this post has helped prepare you for your next project. Click here to download your Manage Like A Pro Planner!