Maybe this is a bit of an admission….perhaps a little strange to some:   I really enjoy going to field measure and survey our projects, I seldom send out a junior to “just measure”.

The reason why?

I love to get to know my customers and clients better. I look at the books on the shelf, I pay attention to their furnishings…In the office I listen carefully to the tenor of the conversations and witness the traffic patterns.  This all helps us design better, and when we understand the issues and problems, strengths, weaknesses, tastes and dislikes the results are simply superior.  We need more feedback than just a client-professed “we like traditional”.

While we acknowledge that the clock is ticking, the meter is running and mindful to watch our hours and fees, we cannot design for a blank canvas…It takes time, questions, and dialog to get to know eachother quickly and efficiently.

So at a very minimum, aside from the important touchy-feely  observations what follows is a question checklist you might refer to before your next project:


What can they afford?

Did we discuss schedules? Design/Approval/Construction

Who is using it? for how long?

Aesthetic preferences?

How are they using it? Will they change the use later?
Is the user going to maintain this themselves?

Can we discuss who will build, who will monitor the construction?
What to expect during municipal approvals and bidding.

How will we figure a means of communication?
Are we clear on the segregation of responsibilities?

Are there any special Audio visual needs/acoustics?
Mechanical ?
Site -wetlands, septic, slope restrictions?
Insurance changes needed?

So call Steve 914 674 2950, let’s chat….


Article by Steven Secon