FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS About me Q: What is your design philosophy? A: As you can see from my portfolio, I work within many styles, and they are all based on my clients’ desires. I love most styles: modern is more and more popular now, and lodge and craftsman styles are timeless. I also believe your home should be an authentic, distinctive place that unites your needs, lifestyle and values with the unique characteristics of the site. My goal is to ultimately improve your daily living experience as well as your property’s value. Q: What sets your firm apart from other architects with similar experience? A: I spend a lot of time on design, thoroughly exploring options that may not have been considered. I believe in a team approach with the contractor, having the same goals, and including him early on in the process. I also realize that for many people the process of building may seem daunting so I make sure that the process is outlined beforehand; major decision checkpoints are streamlined; and that the process is fun as well as rewarding! I am also constantly exploring new materials, methods and pushing boundaries when needed. Q: Will you share with me a portfolio of similar projects and provide a list of client references? A: Absolutely! The Process Q: What means will you use to collect information about my needs, goals, etc.? A: I have a questionnaire for you to fill out that allows you to input your requirements for each space, including size, proximity to other spaces, and materials if known. This helps to define the program prior to beginning design. Q: What are the steps in the process? A: Pre-Design: using the questionnaire, this will determine the scope or program of the project. This includes total square footage and budget. Schematic Design: this is the exploratory step of putting all the information and pieces of the program together to come up with exactly what you are looking for. Construction Documents: Taking the schematic design and detailing it fully for construction. Construction process: Meeting regularly with the builder on site; making timely decisions, etc. Q: How will you help me to fully visualize the project? A: I use a combination of drawings and computer animation using BIM (building information modeling) software called Revit. It enables walk-through and fly-around studies; solar/shading studies; and material and color options. I also use the website Houzz.com to show examples of something I may try to clarify. Q: What role do you have during construction? A: I work with the contractor, as your agent, through construction, to ensure the home is being built per the plans and to assist in clarifying the drawings. I also assist you with any remaining design decisions. Q: Can you recommend contractors? A: Yes, I have some great referrals and I will assist you in finding the right builder for your project. Green Design Q: Do you have experience with “green” or sustainable design A: I have an extensive knowledge of sustainable design strategies, materials and methods, to ensure that your home will be durable, efficient and therefore less expensive to maintain. Q: How will you determine which green design options to pursue? A: Most green design options are not an added cost, and are standard practices for us. I will discuss with you some practices that I typically recommend, and we can weigh costs vs budget. Many green design practices are also eligible for tax credits and/or refunds, and we can review those as well. Fees Q: how is the fee calculated? Is it a percentage of project cost or a cost per square foot.? A: My fees for new construction are on a cost per square foot basis. I usually require a small retainer at the beginning of the project, and then bill monthly on a percentage of completion basis. Q: What is included in your basic services and what would be considered additional fees? A: My fee includes the design and drawings required to build your house. It also includes kitchen design, including cabinetry; fireplace; entertainment center and lighting design. I can provide varying levels of interior design services for an additional fee. Typical consultants on each project that require an additional fee are: surveyor; structural engineer for engineering calculations; landscape architect; and an interior designer if desired. Hard copies of plans are an additional fee. Q: If the scope of the project changes during the project, will there be additional fees? A: It depends when the change is made, and what type of change. Any change during design that adds square footage will be billed for on a cost/sf basis. If the change is made after schematic design, it will be billed for on an hourly basis. Q: Do you use a contract? A: Yes, I use an AIA B105 contract for a small project.