What Is The Difference Between An Architect And A Contractor?

If you have construction projects, achieving your goals depends on the provider you choose. Indeed, it is necessary to make the choice between trades whose outlines are not easy to master. However, it is essential to know precisely who is doing what in order to effectively monitor the site. In short, an architect and a contractor both have roles to play in a construction site and it is necessary to distinguish them.

Today we present to you the differences between architect and contractor.

What are the main differences between an architect and a contractor?

Unlike the profession of architect, the job of contractor is not subject to regulations.

The contractor can simultaneously design, study, monitor and coordinate the work.

The architect can take on the role of a contractor, but this is not a mandatory condition. However, you should know that for a work project bringing the total area of ​​the house to more than 150m², it is mandatory to use an architect if there is a building permit to be deposited.

In terms of education

To access the profession of contractor, there is strictly speaking no diploma required. Indeed, it is not a job in the conventional sense of the term but rather a function of supervising the work and ensuring that the project goes as planned. Thus, the person who is responsible for both drawing up the plans and monitoring the site takes on both the role of owner and contractor.

Conversely, the profession of architect is only accessible to holders of a diploma recognized by the State. An architect is therefore a graduate by the Government, hence the acronym DPLG which is associated with him most of the time. An architect must register with the Order of Architects.

In terms of the services offered

For any construction or renovation project, the contractor and the architect can be of invaluable help throughout the duration of the work, from design to completion.

The architect or the contractor is responsible for making a personalized design of the project. But the architect has the advantage of being able to deploy more creativity and conceptual added value on construction projects when necessary, compared to the prime contractor. He had to complete several years of study, which allowed him to enrich his knowledge of architecture and art history.

These two professionals are able to select the companies needed to carry out the work thanks to a large network of qualified craftsmen who work with them on a regular basis. This has a considerable advantage since the site is better coordinated and since the service providers are used to working together, they are able to organize themselves quickly.

Apart from this selection of craftsmen and building professionals, the architect and the contractor can be responsible for setting up the phasing of the work, carrying out a follow-up from A to Z and coordinating the interventions of each enterprises.

At the level of obligations

The architect and the contractor are both bound by a duty to advise and their role is to inform the client about the various aspects of the site, in particular the technical constraints, the disadvantages and advantages presented by the contractors. architectural choices, materials used… Both must commit to the successful completion of the work entrusted to them.

At the price level

In general, the architect’s remuneration is calculated in relation to a rate on the total amount of the work. In most cases, this rate is between 8 and 12% and there is no obligation on the order of magnitude, which is set at the discretion of the architect. Thus, the architect’s salary differs from one provider to another, but also depending on the project. Indeed, the higher the amount of work, the more the rate represents a substantial sum. It is up to the client to negotiate the height of the rate wisely. It should be noted, however, that the more expensive a project, the more the architect is liable, thus justifying a certain rate.

The contractor is remunerated in the same way as the architect, depending on the missions entrusted to him, the rate can range from 3% (for the pre-project study) and 8% (for the monitoring of the works).

But before that, there are fixed prices for the realization of the plans, for the design of the files, the building permits, … It all depends on the site and the needs. Once this preliminary part to the site is validated and signed, there is the percentage of site monitoring.

According to the type of contract

  • For the contractor

The differences between the architect and the contractor also lie in the service contract. Indeed, the project management contract is independent of works contracts with other construction trades. Except in the case where the contractor is an architect, the project management contract is not subject to any regulation, hence the need to detail the scope of the mission entrusted to the service provider:

  • Design the project (draw the plans);
  • Assemble the file (building permit, administrative files, …);
  • Help in the choice of companies after a call for competition;
  • Write technical documents;
  • Coordinate the work;
  • Attend the reception;
  • Etc.

In addition, it is strongly recommended to request insurance certificates from the contractor before proceeding before signing the contract. Like any professional involved in construction, the contractor must provide insurance for any damage that may call into question his liability or the disturbances that this may cause after acceptance of the work. It is necessary to request the corresponding certificates before the opening of the site and to ensure that they are valid for their entire duration.

  • For the architect

To hire an architect, there is no standard contract imposed by law. Nevertheless, the Order of Architects offers two model contracts including a standard contract for preliminary studies, aimed at verifying the technical and financial feasibility of the project and a complete contract consisting of a book of general clauses and a book. special clauses.

The two parties (the service provider and the customer) can freely discuss the contract, the only condition being that it includes the following clauses:

  • The contracting parties
  • The name of the operation and the description of the program
  • The budget
  • The architect’s mission and his remuneration
  • Insurance and special provisions.

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