Because clients often feel challenged by uncertainties at first, I wanted to share these thoughts in hopes they might help. A project’s beginning stages are typically filled with anxiety, and some confidence too. It’s normal to feel this range of emotion when embarking on a new project with an architect. Feel free to share these FAQs with whoever may find them useful.
Tony Robbins, the motivational guru, says that humans have a need for certainty … but also that we have a need for uncertainty. When you come to us for a custom home project, there are elements of both and that is part of what makes it an exciting and rewarding process. But let’s drill down a little and see if we can reduce the aspects of uncertainty that are the least palatable as revealed in the following questions.
How much does the project cost and how long does it take?
Of course, the short answer to your question is, ‘It depends.’ But here’s what I can tell you for certain: Management of cost is part of our process. We set a project budget before we start designing. After design, we bring a builder in to price it. (This reality check is going to happen sooner or later; we make it happen as soon as possible so you know what to expect.) We emphasize client education.
For the houses we design, we have a historical database of construction costs that we update constantly. So we can tell you that family room addition #1 at 4,000 square feet cost this much and took this long. However, as a rule of thumb if you are new to this, the construction cost and project duration is about twice the new client’s expectation. Once we understand the scope of your project, we can likewise define the schedule for you. Then you’ll have a very reliable range.
I’d invite you to keep the bigger picture in mind, too, and that’s something you know about yourself: There are $20,000 cars and there are $100,000 cars — and there is a real difference between them. Yes, they all have four wheels and hold passengers. The difference comes in the handling and longevity, the resale value and the user experience. You have come to us because you care about these things in a home. We will do our very best to fulfill these important expectations.
What will the newly renovated spaces look like?
Most significantly, you are looking for certainty in what your finished home will be. Now, if you wanted a production home, you could go to someone who would tell you that the last 15 homes they produced looked exactly like this one. But that isn’t what you want. If your project is a renovation, it probably even includes some demolition, which often comes with unexpected surprises. I believe, and hope you’ll agree, that what you want to be certain of having is a home that will meet your needs and wishes. What we produce is unique and tailored specific to you –– your site, your list of spaces, your needs. You can be very confident that, to make this happen:
● We have a very clear, set process that works. Clarity is one of our core values and we educate our clients as to what we do and what our clients can expect.
● We take a collaborative approach; the client is a part of the team, as is the contractor. In some firms, the client doesn’t get a lot of involvement and in many firms the contractor is there to implement the work, not participate in making decisions.
● We’ve been at this a long time. In our office, some of us have been working together for 20 years and more. We have a lot of experience on similar projects and with a host of different building types.
My personal goal is to enable you to make the best possible decisions about your home’s design. That is the reason you hired us in the first place.