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How a Freelance Architect differs from an Architecture Firm


Every building planned, designed, and constructed is done so by an architect. These architects are experts at understanding the layout of an area and identifying what kind of a building structure can be built perfectly there. 

They also take account of what materials and equipment will be required to execute the project. From something as simple as choosing the area of a construction site to designing the complicated blueprint of a small closet in the said building, an architect does it all. 

The architecture industry is quite a profitable sector. According to Money US News, the top 25% of architects in 2018 earned a median salary of $104,510. Now, most architects are employed by an architecture firm and they work on projects that the architecture firm has acquired.

But numerous architects are choosing to step away from these firms and work on freelance projects as well. How does a freelance architect differ from an architecture firm and what are their different roles and responsibilities? Let us have a deeper look into the same.

Freelance Architects Allow Flexibility

When working with an architecture firm, clients usually have to work in a rigid frame where they do not get much flexibility. Since the processes and protocols in an architecture firm are tightly wound together and follow a strict schedule, clients often cannot discuss niche requirements or work with professionals of their own choice.

This also leads to the projects not being delivered faster. Clients usually have to get their work done by the team that has been assigned their project.

However, working with freelance architects allows clients the flexibility to choose an architecture that gels well with their personality as well as their needs. Clients can select experts from the many options available to them and share their very specific requirements.

One can also have a look at the architect’s complete portfolio before handing the project to them. This is something that is not possible when working with an architecture firm since you can only look at the firm’s previous work at large.

Architecture Firms Provide Better Field Supervision

When clients work with a freelance architect, it can get difficult to have them on the field or the construction site at all times. Since a single freelance architect usually works on multiple projects at a time, gaining their full attention for a long duration of time is often not possible.

Unless clients can put in the effort to coordinate timings very well, regular field supervision by a freelance architect can get very difficult. On the other hand, an architecture firm provides better field supervision at all times simply because they have the manpower to be able to do that.

Freelance Architect

Freelance Architects Enjoy More Freedom and Autonomy

When architects work with an architecture firm, they are required to work under guidelines and the vision of the company. The company dictates what kind of projects the firm will take on, what kind of interactions an architect can have with a client and how they can go about the project. Architects, when working with an architecture firm, do not have 100% freedom and flexibility to bring their own style into the project.

However, freelance architects enjoy more freedom and autonomy than architects who work in an architecture firm. Freelance architects have the luxury to choose their own projects and take on clients who fit their expertise the best. They can also work at hours that suit their clients and themselves the best. Freelance architects can set their own work hours and bring their personal style into the architecture projects as well.

Architecture Firms Provide Job Security

When an architect works as a freelancer, they cannot always guarantee that they would have a project to work on at all times. It is difficult for a freelance architect to have the job security that an architecture firm can offer since a firm is bound to pay its employees a fixed monthly salary. 

This means that the architect will always have a source of income for every month and won’t have to worry about how they could pay their next bill. 


While an architecture firm offers numerous benefits to an architect, it can sometimes be an excellent idea for an architect to venture out of their company and start a freelance business. This way, they can work with clients who have niche needs, offer these clients their expertise, work on projects that they are passionate about, and set their own work hours.
Learn more about setting up a freelance architecture business on the bizinsure website.

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