Thought I might try to tackle the big topic. When growing up, everyone pretty much knew what an architect was and what they did. Today, things are less settled in so many ways. Here I now take a swing to not so much endeavor to sell you on hiring me or another architect but rather to assist you in understanding so you can make a choice you like, enjoy, and are comfortable with. I’ll try to keep it short and sweet.
Architects compose construction. Construction is our common clothing which we share. It is hard enough to pick out your own clothes everyday. Picking out the clothing that you will share with others is another layer of fun.
Composing and compiling are different and akin to the difference between an important letter and a quick email.
We like well composed things and often buildings and homes are a compilation of compositions. People spend 10 thousand dollars on nice items to make up parts of a building or home but spend zero dollars on having them arranged together in an optimal way.
Constructed things are often some of the most expensive things we will ever purchase although higher education is moving in on this. So it is quite logical that one would want to get not only well composed items, but get a well composed overall building for their well composed items to land in.
I think that is the gist of it. You then have to say your prayers, take your time, find someone you like, find someone whose work you like, find someone you trust, and enjoy the process and procurement.
There are lots of details beyond this, but this is the root to get right.