Glossary of Terms:

Contractor: A company, or individual licensed, insured and bonded to provide construction services directly, or collectively though collaboration with other contractors subcontracted by the primary provider better known as a “general contractor”.

Design-Build Contractor:  A company that provides design services in addition to the construction services typically provided by a contractor.  The costs of design services are often included in the overall cost for completing the construction work.  Though the design costs may not be quoted separately, there is nonetheless a cost for the design work.

Designer:  A person or company that provides residential design services that might include interior design work, or remodeling work the scope of which might be similar to that of an architect.  There is no licensing requirement in the State of Minnesota for a “designer” to provide residential design services though some designers may have the “CID” designation or Certified Interior Designer which indicates proficiency in project management, cost analysis and other services in addition to their design skills.

Architect: Architects in the State of Minnesota are required to have a Master’s Degree in architecture and to have worked three years in the profession before they are qualified to sit for a series of exams.  Upon completion of all these requirements, the architect can serve in a multitude of capacities for their clients; project management, construction administration (oversight of the project under construction), interior design and of course the design of the project and production of documents required for that work to be completed.  The architect is the advocate of their client throughout the design of a project through completion of construction.  The involvement of an architect can help maintain the integrity of the project and potentially avoid added costs, delays or mistakes.