Thinking of building, renovating or putting an addition to your home and wondering where to start?
We can help. We have experience with every type of residential project from large new construction of view homes, to small kitchen renovations, to container homes.
Q. How much is your fee?
A. Our fee is either set up as a flat fee or it can be billed hourly, depending on your project and comfort level. If you have an idea of how much the construction will cost, you can estimate that architectural fees will be about 6%. There are many exceptions to this fee structure, however.
Q. What is your hourly rate?
A. If you choose to be billed hourly, our rate varies based on which staff member is doing your work. Rates are set based on experience and credentials.
Q. I know you come up with design ideas, but what, exactly, do you do?
A. Creative design is one aspect of the work we do. The drawings for both permitting and construction must be clear and complete for permits to be awarded and for a contractor to build the project. The drawings must show that the new home, addition, or renovation, is designed per current building and health codes.
Q. How does the process work?
A. 1. Feasibility Phase: We start with finding out what is possible. We research parcel information, and what restrictions for development that parcel might have. That involves researching the jurisdiction’s municipal codes for allowable size, setbacks, height restrictions, etc. Also, the parcel itself might have restrictions, easements, wetlands, etc. Knowing these restrictions will dictate how we will design the structure and what team of consultants we need to assemble to accomplish your goals. Occasionally we recommend a pre-application meeting with the jurisdiction to ensure we don’t encounter unknown requirements from them later on in permitting.
2. As Built Drawings: If you are renovating or building an addition on an existing structure, we will take measurements to create as-built drawings as the basis for design.
3. Schematic Design: This is the creative and collaborative part of the process. We will ask questions about your style, your wish list, your “must haves” and any other pertinent information about your goals. Visual references are helpful at this stage, and we encourage you to go “image diving” on the internet to assemble a collection of ideas you like so that we are on the same page moving forward. We will incorporate your wishes into a few options for layouts of the project. We will share the ideas with you and get your feedback. We will go back and forth until we have an architectural layout and overall massing of the structure that you like.
4. Design Development: This is the phase when we define more of the specifics of the envelope of the structure: materials, windows, etc. We work through general layouts of the structural components needed with our structural engineer via framing and foundation plans. We develop the plans with window and door schedules, dimensions, code summary, and section views to meet energy code requirements.
5. Permit Submission: We coordinate all other consultants’ information with our drawings to ensure the permit set is complete. This is usually just the structural engineering but can also include civil or geotechnical information as necessary. Once the drawings are complete, we will submit them for permit to the applicable agency with all forms required.
6. Permit Drawing Revisions: Once submitted, your project proposal is under review. Depending on the type of job it is, the drawings may need to be reviewed by several departments. Any of these departments can reject the submittal, ask for more information, or approve the project’s scope of work. It is rare that a submission floats through the process without needing additional clarifications from the architect. Sometimes this takes more than one or two rounds of revisions.
7. Permit Granted: At this point, you are ready to begin construction. This is also the point at which we have finished our job for you. If you require us to perform work after your permit is granted this is considered a revision and billed at an hourly rate.
8. Construction Administration: Occasionally the contractor will have questions or encounter challenges in the field that require our help. This is called construction administration and it is billed at an hourly rate. It is fairly rare that this is necessary in residential construction.