The Pros and Cons of Engaging Builders Vs Architects in Singapore

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For anyone interested in building their home, there are two routes they can take. You can either hire a builder directly or opt for an architect first. Both of these options have pros and cons, but most people do not even realize that hiring an architect is something that even an average person can do.

In this blog post, you will get a clear vision of the differences between a builder and an architect so you can make an informed decision.


A Singapore builder is a company that completes construction projects on a contractual basis. They hire a project manager and directly employ workers that undertake the different roles necessary to undertake construction works. They are responsible for planning, leading, executing, inspecting and supervising building projects. A builder has multiple responsibilities that may vary depending on the project.


  • Responsible for Implementing Design: When you hire a builder, the construction starts almost immediately. Since they are only responsible for implementing the design, there are rarely delays unless other factors like man power issues or raw materials shortage crop up.
  • Construction Management: They simplify the entire construction project with one-stop company handling and managing all the trades involved in construction. This is done via a project manager who is able to coordinate all the works within a specified time frame.
  • Gather Permits: When builders start the project’s construction phase, they undertake the responsibility to obtain the necessary permits for construction work to commence in a safe and legal manner.
  • Accountability: Singapore builders are typically responsible for entire projects – right from scheduling to costs and the quality of the end product. When you hire them, you are entrusting them, and they are accountable to you.
  • Minimal Wait Time: Working with a builder ensures you enter the construction phase of your project quickly, with higher chances of the final construction being completed well on time.


  • Basic Floor Plans: Builders that give a quotation may not have a floor plan to quote from. Otherwise, they may use very basic floor plans that do not incorporate a lot of detailed information such as materials selection, joinery details and construction specifications. This can lead to many disagreements later, leading to cost variations.
  • Authority Lapses: The builder may not familiar with authority regulations. This can lead to headaches for the house owner especially when there are deviations and they have to pay for the rectifications.
  • Time delay: Since there is no independent professional other than the builder’s project manager handling the project, there may be a lack of accountability. At the end of the day, they can site reasons for project delay and there is no recourse for the house owner.
  • Costs overrun: Keeping to the budget is critical for all projects, be it big or small. For house owner who have paid a high price for the land, the rebuilding cost becomes important. Costs can easily overrun due to the above causes.
  • Deliver Inferior Project: Since there might not be audits or checks and balances during the construction project, the end result may be an inferior product which you may come to realize afterwards.



Singapore Architects are licensed and trained experts in designing, planning, and building homes and commercial spaces. While most people consider architects to be someone who draws up or creates the blueprints of the house, they are actually intimately involved throughout the construction project.


  • Thoughtful Design and Material Choice: Singapore registered architects give thorough thought and produce better design. From the professional drawings and documentation to the material schedule, there will definitely be a value-add when they are done by architects.
  • Avoid Design Errors: Architects especially with the right experience, can help avoid costly design errors that arise with inexperienced designers or builders.
  • Reduce Cost Significantly: The wealth of experience architects bring to the table can save you money in the long run by building efficient homes in terms of layout, structure, and energy usage.
  • Authority Submissions and Clearances: An architect can help complete authority submissions and avoid legal and environment-related problems.
  • Concerned with Codes and Regulations: They offer detailed plans to provide the builders with a clear guide to ensure the construction is up to the latest codes and regulations.
  • Control of Contractor and Construction Process: Singapore builders/contractors can be difficult and eager to enforce their opinions. Your Singapore architect is the best person to deal with them from both a technical and legal perspective. If there are any deviations in your building contract be it design, materials or process, your Singapore Architect can issue the appropriate legal documents to compel the Singapore builder/contractor to rectify the issue before completion. This helps you, the builder owner avoid unpleasant situations whereby the builder/contractor might use their professional experience in ways that might put down your complaints or diminish the validity of your arguments.  
  • Smooth Delivery and Completion: Handing over your project to your Singapore architect makes your life easier as they can take on the responsibility for managing the entire building project and ensure that it completes on time.


  • Expensive Way to Build: Some star architects may drive up the cost with high-end materials and custom products. But, they want to ensure your project looks good and is very detailed when it comes to the final product.
  • Time Commitment: Since Singapore architects require time to perfect the planning and design before the construction commences, the timeline of the entire project may be extended.

Final Thoughts           

While Singapore builders can certainly build you a home, a Singapore architect will give you a home designed around your needs rather than a template, and their expertise will help save a huge amount of money and time. If you are one of the lucky few who get to renovate or build your own home in Singapore, hiring an architect in Singapore is the best way to ensure you get the right space for life!

If reading this blog article has made you think about hiring an architect in Singapore, ADX Architects has a team of professionals who can help you with your project. For more information, get in touch today!

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