California law defines the practice of architecture as “the planning of sites, and the design, in whole or in part, of buildings or groups of buildings and structures.” Any person who uses the title of architect, or provides architectural services in California, must be licensed by the state. The California Architects Board examines, licenses, and regulates more than 22,000 architects to help ensure your project is designed correctly. Their mission is to protect the welfare of the public by ensuring the professional performance of architects licensed to practice in the state.
There are projects which don’t require an architect of course including, single-family dwellings, garages or other additions no more than two stories high, nonstructural or non-seismic storefront renovations and additions. If you’re not sure whether or not your project needs an architect contact the Orange County building official’s office. They will consider the existing state laws, public health, safety and welfare, local environmental and geographical conditions and a myriad of other details to make a that determination.
If you do hire an architect for your project California law requires a written contract that contains at a minimum the following items:
1. A description of services to be provided by the architect.
2. A basis of compensation and method of payment agreed upon by both parties.
3. The name, address, and license number of the architect.
4. How additional services will be added or considered.
5. How the contract may be terminated.
These are the basics, doesn’t seem like much does it? That’s why there is a much longer list of recommended items to be included in your contract including; legal property information where the work will occur, such as boundary surveys and soil testing reports, project schedule and construction budget are just a few.
You can find more information on hiring an architect by visiting this website, http://www.cab.ca.gov/pdf/publications/consumers_guide.pdf
At Greater Pacific Construction we work closely with many quality Architects in Orange County. We pride ourselves in the highest quality construction and that all starts at the planning phase. Whether you are building a new home, room addition, tenant improvement or commercial construction in Orange County, hiring the right architect is the first step in creating the most functional and beautiful space.