Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
What does the architect generally see as important issues of consideration in a project ?
Project goals, function, budget, schedule, existing site conditions, and governmental requirements.
How does the architect approach a project ?
We take a step by step approach; Identify the project goals, offer design solutions, refine the design, prepare detailed plans, assist with pricing, observe construction, and follow up to measure performance. An expanded description can be found on the “Project Approach” page.
How will the architect gather information about the project needs, goals, etc. ?
Project information is gathered during the pre-design phase and depends on the project. It can be a comprehensive list of project requirements provided by the client, a simple meeting with the client, or a comprehensive interviewing of staff and researching governmental agencies.
How will the architect establish priorities and make decisions ?
Priorities are established based on the goals expressed by the client, site constraints/opportunities and governmental requirements.
Who from the architectural firm will be dealing with you directly? Is that the same person who will be designing the project? Who will be designing the project ?
The project designer and major point of contact will be the owner/architect. The architects team, staff and consultants, will be as directed by the architect.
What kind of projects is the architect interested in ?
We provide design services for projects ranging from a facility with multiple buildings and master site planning to small projects such as an addition, disabled access ramp or toilet room layout. We provide client centric design solutions for individuals, private companies, and public agencies.
Is the architect too busy for my project ?
We limit our workload to enable us to provide great service to our clients and fulfill our scheduling promises.
What sets this architect apart from the rest ?
Personal service by the owner/architect who is a creative problem solver with a desire to create functional and attractive projects.
How does the architect establish fees ?
We can provide a fixed fee proposal for a predetermined scope of work or bill hourly. Reimbursable items such as prints, shipping and consultants are billed per our current rate schedule.
What would the architect expect the fee to be for this project ?
Fees will vary a great deal depending on building type, complexity, size and scope of work (RS Means cost data range is from 4% to 16%). Preliminary budgets normally use 10% of the construction costs. We can provide a more accurate budget number or fixed fee once we learn about your project.
What are the steps in the design process ?
We recommend seven steps to a successful project 1 Predesign - deciding what to build. 2 Schematic Design - rough sketches. 3 Design Development - refining the design. 4 Construction Documents - the blueprints. 5 Bid/ Negotiation - hiring the contractor. 6 Construction - managing the building process. 7 Post Construction - on going maintenance.
How does the architect organize the process ?
We organize the process by each phase in the design process (see steps above) and work through each phase consecutively.
What does the architect expect you to provide ?
Site information such as surveys and soils report, existing building information, project requirements and goals, input on proposed design solutions, payment for services.
What is the architect’s design philosophy ?
We provide project centric design solutions - The project goals, function, environment and context shape the ultimate design.
What is the architect’s experience/track record with cost estimating ?
Construction budgets are based on historical square foot cost data such as RS Means. Where more exact estimates are needed to reflect current market conditions, detailed take-offs are made in consultation with building contractors. Bid projects are typically within 10% of budget and subject to market variations.
What will the architect show you along the way to explain the project ?
Varies with project complexity and may include: 2D views, sketches, 3D views, digital models, physical models, color drawings, DVD presentations, material samples, detailed construction plans and specifications.
If the scope of the project changes later in the project, will there be additional fees? How will these fees be justified?
Changes to project scope or completed work are billed hourly. Following the recommended steps will greatly reduce and usually eliminate the need for changes.
What services does the architect provide during construction ?
Depending on project; phone support, review of submittals, periodic construction observation site visits, approval of work, approval of contractor applications for payment, and final punch list.
How disruptive will construction be ? How long does the architect expect it to take to complete your project ?
Disruption will vary by project, however proper phasing can help minimize the impact. Generally construction projects will take about 3 weeks for each $100,000 of construction cost.
Can the architect provide a list of client references ?
Yes, we can provide an extensive list of clients, including individuals, private companies, and public agencies. We can also provide a list of consultants, vendors, and contractors that we have worked with.