Residential Design

VOL.5 2018

A business-to-business magazine focused on the collaborative process and talented work of residential architects and custom homebuilders.

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Page 35 of 83

We document material connections and details, coordinate drawings with our structural engineers, and specify exactly what features, finishes, and fixtures will be used. This often takes more time than our clients expect, but it's essential in order to build the house to our high standards. Construction Administration Phase Construction Administration (CA) takes place over the course of the project's con- struction. We work with the contractors to examine details in the field, make any nec- essary adjustments, have conversations with our clients about any new design decisions to be made, and work together to ensure we create a successful project. Our presence during this phase is extremely valuable and necessary, as our established lines of communication with the contractor and the client allow us to solve any issues that may come up. Ultimately, as we've stated before, our measure of success is a happy client. One of our favorite parts of designing homes is the chance to work with clients that trust us with their per- sonal stories and dreams. This is the inspiration that leads to high-quality, unique designs. How long does it take? Construction for a new home typically takes between 8 and 12 months. If you are building in the Northeast it is important to consider winter and its impact on construction sched- ule. Depending on the weather, the ground could be frozen between the months of December and April, so no construc- tion should be scheduled to begin during those months. If the foundation is already in the ground prior to the ground freezing, construction can continue through the winter. What are our responsibilities? How involved will we be during design? All of our houses are custom-designed, ensuring they are the best fit for each of our clients. We don't require too much of your time, but we do encourage a lot of involvement through- out the process. During the SD and DD phases, when we are initially establishing the design of your home, we consider the client to be a vital part of the team. We understand that our clients are busy, too, so we have developed methods to simplify the "decisions needed" and can tailor our process for each individual client. For us, the most important part of our process is to ensure happy clients. As long as we establish ex- pectations early on, the process is structured to run smoothly. I've heard horror stories… How can we be sure we know what we're getting into? We completely understand that designing and building a new home is a significant undertaking. Having gone through the pro- cess ourselves multiple times, we know that our clients are often hesitant to take the first step. That's why we're here. Through- out the process we strive to be extremely communicative and present, answering questions and explaining next steps, work- ing together with our clients to make all design decisions, and actively guiding our clients through the process. How do we make sure our project stays on budget? We can control the budget because our goal is to know all of the answers—and therefore all of the costs associated—before we even send our drawings to the contractor for a bid. This is why we put so much time and effort into the entire design process. And why we ask our clients so many questions during the SD and DD Phases. At the start of each project we discuss budget with our clients. We also discuss budget at every one of our design meetings. We typically approximate cost for a project based on a cost per square foot, and we update our clients through the process as to any changes in the design that might affect the budget. What's the first step in getting started? The best way to start the process is to contact us and set up a time for a phone call to discuss your project and any questions you might have. While we make an effort to give you as much information as possible online, we know that each project and each client will have unique concerns for us to discuss. If, after our phone call, we both believe we would make a good team, we should set up an in-person meeting to discuss the project further and to begin building a good working relationship. We want our clients to feel comfortable sharing their story with us, and we find that this first meeting is often a great indication of how fun the process can be. Our goal in sharing this information is to help potential clients understand more about the process of working with an architect and to lessen their apprehension about reaching out to us and starting a dialogue about working together. The more we talk about and promote our profession, the more we are proving the value of working with an architect. Photo: Brad Feinknopf 36 RESIDENTIALDESIGNMAGA ZINE.COM VOL. 5, 2018 AIA CRAN

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