A licensed Architect is trained and licensed by a state board for the design of many types of buildings and other structures. A home designer, one the other hand, is trained in designing light-frame buildings like agricultural buildings and single-family homes.

Home designers are not legally required to pass exams or receive special licenses in most states. A “Certified Professional Building Designer” or CPBD will have completed appropriate training, compiled a portfolio and passed a difficult and comprehensive examination through the National Council of Building Design Certification.

Because their work and training are focused on light-frame buildings, home designers generally charge lower fees for design work than do licensed architects. Planning a renovation or home addition with a home designer rather than an architect could result in significant savings on this part of planning your project.