Frequently asked questions  / Should ask questions

1. What should a client expect?

  • We get it, you may have never been through this before and are a little apprehensive.  We have been through it -hundreds of times. Our brief slideshow-video link to our typical range of services and expectations:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58mJYiOjVtQ

2. What are your usual fees?

  • Hourly figures ranging from $90/hr for an associate’s time to $150/hr for principal’s time. We do not mark up our consultants fees (i.e. engineers or expeditors) or reimbursable costs (i.e. printing) We do charge 50% rates for travel, as is customary in the industry.
  • Our full service fees, as a percentage of construction cost, generally average 10%,  which is considered  “average” by the 2016 edition of Engineering News Record Costbook.  The smaller projects tend to fall in the 12% range and the larger ones in the 8% range.
  • construction schedule cartoon3. Why use an architect?

• Most improvements that are beyond cosmetic or general maintenance, require a registered architect or professional engineer to submit documentation to the municipality to confirm that the proposed work meets certain standards (i.e building code, zoning, etc.)

  • Whether you use our services or those of another firm, an architect provides you with a partner and advocate that is skilled in design, reviewing construction, and approval sequences, which saves you time and money while making your project more usable and attractive.

 

  • 4. Do you have a introductory way we can get a preview of what’s ahead, but with a smaller commitment?
  • Limited Time Offer -$900-expires December 1, 2017.  Yes, it’s called a “Needs and Options Assessment” : a 4-6 hour session where we develop preliminary sketches, options, budget, and schedule for discussion and charting a course of action. Great way to get the feel of what’s ahead with a low investment. Extremely useful!

 

Please join me and Phil Faranda ( a highly regarded real estate agent) chatting about our office, work, and related topics

• After our initial meeting, we will send a letter of agreement outlining the factors and objectives that we discussed, the services we will provide, and the related fees and terms.  After the return of the signed agreement and retainer, we get to work.  Billing is done on a monthly basis commensurate with the amount of work completed.

• In the early part of the project we’ll come to your home, office or project site and to confirm/review your objectives and ask many questions, including your present and future needs, budget constraints, time and schedule factors, applicable site restrictions, considerations as to who may build and obtaining any available background information.

New Barn Interior- Katonah, NY

New Barn Interior- Katonah, NY

  • 5. How does this process generally work?
  • Our services are typically categorized in 5 phases: 1. Preliminary or schematic design; 2. Design development; 3. Construction documents; 4. bidding-negotiation-approval 5. Construction Observation
  • or
  • Like this http://youtu.be/phNYa-TrKvU

• (a) Preliminary or Schematic Design: The usual procedure entails our office verifying the existing conditions (measuring and examination), reviewing the applicable regulations (i.e. zoning and building codes), and performing preliminary designs usually with several options. We meet several times during this phase of the project to review the schemes, make any necessary changes as well as hone in on details and specifics. Once a preliminary scheme is selected, we can provide a thumbnail budget figures if requested.

  • (b) Design Development: We then develop these preliminary drawings into more detailed and technical drawings that are suitable for more fully understanding the materials, structural elements and mechanical systems.
  • (c) Construction Documents: We refine the drawings into more technically complete documents that are accompanied by specifications to give the builders and building department a thorough picture of the completed project.
  • (d) Bidding-Negotiation-Approvals- During this phase we help in obtaining permits and needed approvals. We will assist you in obtaining the necessary municipal approvals and can assist you in bidding the project among qualified, battle-tested builders.  Our office usually negotiate with the bidders on your behalf to ensure that you receive a favorable price and the best possible conditions. At that point, we generally prepare the contract between the Owner and the selected Builder using templates established by American Institute of Architects.
  • •(e) Construction Observation- During the course of construction our office visits the site to assure the project is being built in accordance with the drawings and good practices and answer questions the builders may have. We work closely with the builders to assure the job moves along in a rational, expeditious manner and that the contractor is being paid in accordance with work performed and materials purchased.
  • • At the end of the job, we’ll come punchlist (identify missing or remedial conditions) and help close-out the job and get you back into your home, office or building.