One of the most frequently asked questions by homeowners considering a remodeling project is, “Do I need an architect or designer for this project?”. For most minor remodeling projects the answer will be no. If the project involves removing an interior non-load bearing wall, or replacing windows, or adding a door (where there currently isn’t one) or something along these lines, then the homeowner and general contractor will generally be able to handle both the design and construction.

For larger projects such as additions, building/remodeling a new kitchen, or a whole-house remodel then yes, hiring an architect would be a wise investment. Architects and design “professionals” like interior designers or a draftsperson offer both perspective and experience to your project. These professionals are skilled in bringing both the structural requirements relevant to the project and the client’s aesthetic considerations together in a harmonious way.

Here is some basic information about what architects and designers do and don’t do.


Architects are highly educated professionals who have trained in design and general construction knowledge. Many architects will list the initials “AIA” after their name. An architect with this acronym is a member of the American Institute of Architects.

Architects are skilled problem-solvers who embrace the challenges that come from solving complex design issues while making sure a project meets the aesthetic goals of the client. If you’re adding a structure to your home (addition, 2nd floor, garage) you’ll need an architect.

Architects generally charge by the hour, or as a set fee based on the project’s construction costs. While many offer the additional service of overseeing the hiring of a general contractor and
the subsequent production, it isn’t always necessary. A qualified general contractor will be able to use the architect’s drawings to complete the project following the client’s vision.

Photo by Alair Homes CharlotteBrowse modern family room photos


Designers don’t have the same form of education as an architect but are skilled in the planning of interior spaces. Designers are most often used in the remodeling of a kitchen or bathroom. Clients may also find the services of an interior designer essential in a project such as a whole-house remodel or addition.

Unlike architects, interior designers have more experience working with clients in the selection of cosmetic features such as paint, finishes, lighting, and plumbing fixtures. Think of the architect as the person who puts your vision on paper so the contractor can build the space. Think of the designer as the person who fills that space with all the tangible property that take that space and make it part of your home.

Interior designers may charge by the hour as well, but typically don’t offer to manage your project nor do they do provide structural drawings. Designers are often employed in “laying out” your new kitchen or bathroom.

How can Alair Homes help with your remodeling project?

One of the most frequent questions we get from homeowners is “what services does Alair Homes offer?”. Most of our clients come to us without architectural drawings, without having hired an interior designer, and usually without an exact idea of what they want to do. This isn’t a problem.

Alair Homes offers a turnkey service. If the services of an architect or interior designer are needed we can provide those services as part of our complete solution. If you’d prefer to find and work with an architect or interior designer before hiring a general contractor, we can offer referrals to some of Charlotte’s best professionals.

Either way, Alair Homes Charlotte is here to provide you a soup-to-nuts solution to your home remodeling or custom home construction project. When you hire Alair Homes you’re hiring a teammate – an experienced, professional, trusted advisor – who will passionately advocate for you and your vision.