This is a question which is often asked but rarely out loud. Many people will have a preconceived idea of what an architect does and they might be put off using one simply based upon their expectation that it is expensive, but conversely not having the right advice at the right time may well lead to costly decisions being made, the cost of which far outweigh the fee of using an architect. Put simply, a good architect will provide added value to your project.
In a practical sense, most people believe that architects simply draw plans. This is partially true but what architects really do is to produce ideas which resolve problems and the drawing of building plans is one way of communicating solutions to others. An architect will listen to you and can help you through your building project from concept through to the completion of the building works.