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If the right one comes along before we start construction we'll grab it and eat the architect's fee. $5,500, BTW, is a total cost unless we want his services as a consultant during construction, which we don't.

I have a friend who is an architect. He points out that while it is fun to design things, most of his work comes after the design is completed and paid for. This work (that the client need not accept and pay for) is the supervision of the construction, since the builders and contractors routinely modify the plans to cut their costs and increase their profits. Sometimes, such as in that building with flying passageways, this can have fatal results.

So unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time at the construction site, or if you are doing all the work yourself, you might find that keeping the architect on during the construction is a very good investment indeed.
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