We recognize it may be the first time working with an architect, so I really want to make the Architectural Service process comfortable and simple. First a few things to avoid and a preview of what to expect:
Feasibility study – $1800 , this assessment is a 6-9 hour session where we develop preliminary sketches, budget, and meet and chart a course of action. This is done in one day!. Great way to get the feel of what’s ahead. Those fees are credited to future work. Extremely useful! Here’s what Kathy had to say about here recent experience:
“I hired Steve to do a 1-day feasibility study so I could better understand the realities of a remodel I’ve been considering. It was the smartest move I could have made, because not only did he listen and produce the drawings and estimates that answered my questions, he went beyond with other ideas that have enabled me to re-evaluate my goals and determine what’s best. He helped me see my house in a whole new way, with all its potential. Highly recommend.” *****
Architectural: We collaboratively develop and design solutions that address the project in its usability, budget, schedule, and appearance. We frequently perform “feasibility studies” which are brief reports and preliminary drawings to help determine if the project makes sense for the intended purpose, likely costs, time-frame, and location. We’ll make sure you understand what the result looks like before we go into construction…check out sample animations which we do for most projects
Interiors: Once an envelope has been established for the shell of the user, we provide choices and direction for arranging the spaces, lighting, furnishings, special finishes, equipment, and accessorizing to leave the user with a truly “turn-key” space.
Landscape Architecture: We work with the site so that what is built complements what is natural and will endure with minimal maintenance and look great for years. We’ll analyze the use of the site, the drainage, parking, landscaping and leave you astounded with an awesome design solution.
Inspections: On behalf of owners and managing agents who need to verify that their building facades are safe and code compliant, we will inspect the condition of their building to satisfy municipally required inspections (such as New York City’s Local Law 11) or review questionable conditions that warrant examination. We carefully and methodically inspect the subject, document the conditions and can suggest and implement feasible repairs. We do selective legalizations to help owners make construction that was performed without permits- “legal” and conforming.
Construction Monitoring: We become the eyes and ears of various parties involved with the project’s construction. Often we are hired by lenders, banks or joint venture partners to report back on the status of the projects schedule, quality and general “vibe”. Our early intervention and guidance allow potential problems to get resolved promptly with minimal impact.
Peer Review: With extensive experience as an architect, construction monitor and building inspector we bring “real world” drawing reviews that have benefited hundreds of architects, engineers, building owners, developers and joint venture investors. We ascertain how thorough the drawings are that are about to be sent out to bid or to the field to build, and can recommend typical corrective measures while still on paper. These reviews have saved countless headaches, change order extras and reputations.
PHASES OF A PROJECT
Generally consists of 5 or 6 phases and are outlined below. We begin any project by obtaining information. We’ll question, investigate, and research available resources. Among the questions, we’ll pose include: What is the proposed use? Who will use it? What should it look like? How will it be built? Who might be the builder? What is the budget? What are the time restrictions to accomplish the final project? What are the regulations pertaining to the job?
Feasibility/Preliminary: Phase Once we understand the scope of the project, the size, and the related factors, we begin measuring and designing. Several schemes are explored and presented to the Owner or User. We’ll meet several times to discuss the merits and limitations, costs, schedule and approval sequence of each. We work from most general, i.e. where should the building be, to more specific, i.e. which way the door should swing.
Design Development: Phase Together, we meet to refine the design and select the materials and systems to build the project. We frequently meet with building and municipal officials to review the project and get preliminary feedback. We’ll develop 3-d images ad animations to make it very clear what the project will look like before it is built. We don’t like surprises of this nature either!
Construction Documents Phase: At this point many of our major questions have been answered, and our office will develop the drawings into more technical drawings used for obtaining municipal approvals and further embellish them to be suitable for construction purposes with dimensions, details, lists of materials and occasionally integrate with drawings from other consultants when necessary.
Approvals/Bidding and Negotiation Phase: We’ll get your permits in order then contact qualified builders to verify their interest and availability to do the work and send them related drawings and documentation so they have a clear understanding of the proposed work. Occasionally, we’ll meet on site with the bidders and walk them through the project and clarify any questions they might have. When the bids come back, we analyze them and verify that the costs are “apples to apples” and not laden with substitutions or caveats. We are advocates on your behalf and will negotiate with the Contractors to obtain the best price, schedule, and delivery for the project. We help prepare a written contract between the Owner and Contractor to protect each party from misunderstandings.
Construction Phase: During the course of construction, we’ll monitor the work to make sure it reflects the intentions of the drawings and good construction practices. We’ll review schedules with the Builder to make sure the work unfolds in a rational, well-planned sequence. We assist the Owner in advising when and how much to pay the Contractor and help mediate disputes before they hinder the progress of the job. Close-out Phase Together we’ll develop a “punch list”, a tally of incomplete or deficient work that needs to be addressed before the project is complete. We’ll monitor the completion of this work and assist with obtaining any necessary additional approvals to occupy the new or modified buildings. Our office also frequently helps the Owner pick out and arrange new furnishings and fixtures to fit-out space.
Follow-up Phase: We stay in touch with the Owner or User to find out what aspects of the project they liked and what aspects we can improve upon.