Being a frugal-minded individual myself, with a penchant for DIY projects, I can completely relate to why this question comes up.  Builders build houses all the time without the input of an architect; it's true.  Some builders have a better knack for good design than others, but even they will tell you that there can be cost savings to having a well thought out, thorough set of plans from which to build from. 

It's important to recognize that builders have been taught how to build, that is their expertise. Architects have been taught how to design, how to reconfigure or create space to meet the needs of a specific client or use, how to find solutions that make the most effective use of space, and how to pull it all together in a way that meets aesthetic needs as well; that is their expertise.  Builders and architects are both problem solvers, but the savings comes in to play when you can head off problems before they occur by careful 

Since cost is often the driving factor to the decision not to hire an architect, let's talk about that first. 

  • An architect will take into