If you were thinking of making an addition to your property, developing one, or working on a major renovation project, you may have started thinking about hiring an architect. If this is the first project of that scope for you and your first time working with these professionals, you may be asking yourself what makes them different from civil engineers. In this article, we’re going to show you what both of these professionals do.

What’s an Architect?

An architect is someone who’s actively involved in the design of structures. While they may be directly involved in the construction process, they don’t have to be. Architects often have to work with civil engineers to coordinate larger projects, and they rely on their expertise to manage workers and ensure the safety of workers and the public.

What’s a Civil Engineer?

The job of a civil engineer is to assist in the design, construction, and planning of infrastructure. They are also experts in regulation and are essential in safeguarding the public. It is their job to know about every single rule and code, and having a civil engineer on a job will ensure that you do not end up facing fines or having to cancel a project because it’s not compliant. They are also experts in environmental regulations and play an essential role in projects like drainage and sewage system modification or installation, among other things.

When Should I Hire an Architect?

You should hire an architect if you haven’t built plans yet and either need inspiration for someone to handle the whole process for you. You can’t expect an architect to manage the construction part, however. Some of them will get involved, but they cannot manage operations on the field as a civil engineer can.

When Should I Hire a Civil Engineer?

While they won’t typically get involved in smaller projects, a civil engineer is pretty useful to know if you are concerned about things like removing load-bearing walls. They can also give you recommendations on how you could improve your current plans. 

A civil engineer can be hired for larger projects where issues like traffic control and managing site erosion.

Civil engineers play an essential role in cities that have very tight planning and zoning regulations, like St Louis, for instance. A civil engineering firm St. Louis will be able to look over things like permits and plot plans and see if your project is even feasible in your jurisdiction. They can help you identify if making certain renovations would be safe and can help you plan landscaping projects too. They can help you with surveying, for instance, or help you build your drainage system.

Now that you know the differences between a civil engineer and an architect, you can start looking for people in your area. Make sure to hire someone with significant experience working on your type of project and be as clear as possible in the terms to avoid bad surprises.

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