What are the Different Types of Architects and Which One do I Need?

You have a vision. Now you have to find the right types of architects to translate that vision into a buildable project.

There are several things to take into consideration when choosing an architect for your new home design or remodel. However, a high-level understanding of the different types of architects is essential to narrowing down your choices.

Here’s a closer look at five types of architects, what they do, and how to choose the best one.

The 5 Types of Architects

1. Residential Architects

Residential architects specialize in creating designs for private homes and other residential properties. These can include single-family homes, townhouses, condos, and apartment buildings.

After consulting with a client, residential architects create a design proposal, which is then revised to the satisfaction of the client. Their work also includes:

  • Producing scaled drawings either by hand or using CAD software.
  • Developing blueprints for contractors and other members of the construction team.
  • Overseeing the construction process.

If you’re building a house or undertaking a renovation, the partnership of a residential architect can be invaluable. They’ll help you customize your project design based on your unique goals, needs, and aesthetics. With an excellent residential architect, you’ll gain a final result that will best suit your vision for how you’ll live in your space.

2. Green Design Architects

With more and more homeowners and businesses seeking to live more sustainably, green architects are an increasingly sought-after option. 

Green architecture is a subset of architecture that puts the environment front and center through:

  • Energy-efficient design.
  • The use of non-toxic and biodegradable resources.
  • Green waste management.
  • Native vegetation for landscaping.
  • Eco-savvy sourcing of materials.
  • The embracing of new technologies.

Because of its popularity and the ongoing emergence of new trends, many residential architects now have experience in green architecture. In addition to seeking out an architect with a portfolio demonstrating a history of environmentally responsible design, you can also look for a certified LEED Green Associate, a qualification created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC).

3. Landscape Architects

Landscape architecture refers to the practice of designing natural and social environments, including everything from residential outdoor spaces to gardens, playgrounds, public parks, and other public spaces, and college campuses.

Unlike many other fields of architecture, landscape architecture has its own course of study culminating in a degree in landscape architecture. While the medium may differ, the end goal is still the same: the design and creation of attractive and functional spaces.

Wondering about the difference between a landscaper and a landscape architect? While landscapers typically provide lawn care and maintenance, landscape architects are about the design process. This involves taking a variety of factors into consideration, including everything from climate and sun exposure to the health and wellness of the people who will use the space.

4. Commercial Architects

Commercial architects service the same function as residential architects, but for commercial properties. So while a residential architect will design a private home, condominium complex, or other residences, commercial architects will design office buildings, retail stores, and shopping malls. 

Like residential architects, commercial architects meet with clients to determine their wants, needs, goals, and budgets for a project. Then, they design a plan to bring it to life.

5. Urban Architects

Urban environments have unique considerations. Enter urban architects (also known as urban designers), who design building plans in urban areas. With nearly half of the global population residing in urban cities, urban architecture is a vital and important area within architecture. 

Responsible for creating buildings that acknowledge the practicalities and conveniences of city living, urban architects consider everything from high-capacity housing, energy-efficient design, and the balance between form and function. They may also work alongside urban planners, who focus on creating healthy and vibrant urban communities.

Residential Remodeling Architects Near Me

A few last things to keep in mind when looking for professionals to help you with your new home or rebuild project:

While hiring the right types of architects is important, you should also look for someone with specific experience with the project type you’re planning. For example, if you’re planning a kitchen remodel, you’ll have better luck with a residential architect with expertise in this area compared to one who specializes in putting in basements.

Furthermore, it’s also important to seek out an architect with local experience as they’ll have a knowledge of zoning ordinances and other factors specific to your area. Drafting Cafe Architects, for example, has extensive experience and is located in the Bay Area.

All architects aren’t created equal, and finding the right one in your area is integral to a final product that will enhance your living environment and the quality of life in your home. Start your project off on the right foot with the right type of architect for your dream home renovation


Get in touch with us. We would love to help you get your project off the ground