Having worked on our own projects, we understand the perils of design and construction first hand. It does not help when budget gets in the way but adhering to budget and utilizing the right team goes a long way. As Architects, our goal is to achieve the best design for value. Of course we do break down and spurge on that "sexy" material or fixture but we maintain consciousness of the overall budget. Yes we rolled up our sleeves and got our hands dirty but the satisfaction that one obtains at the end of the project is paramount. A little of your own sweat and sometimes tears in the project makes one appreciate the project more.
More often than not, we have experienced clients that go after what appears to be the best value and pay the price with regards to costs and equally if not more important, schedule. This article in "This Old House Magazine's" May 2017 issue, authored by Deborah Baldwin certainly portrays the trials of taking on a small renovation and seeking the cheapest route. She certainly has a sense of humor and hence this great literary piece but imagine if you did not have all the design items laid out in the form of good construction documents. The construction documents should be the basis for any General Contractor's contract with you. These documents stipulate what the general contractor owes you and alleviates most uncertainties. Bringing in a general contractor and verbally explaining your design intent is not recommended unless you have an open checkbook. Designing on the fly after a general contractor is on board will certainly expose you (financially) and hold you to his/her's mercy. Deborah definitely fell into the trap of doing it on her own and bringing the General Contractor in to work at her mercy but opposite proved true.
When starting a renovation project we believe that we can provide careful planning and assist with your design decisions in order to allow you to hold a general contractor to his/her contract. Change Orders are ugly words but there is little you as the client can do to make them go away when careful design and documentation does not exist.
We pride ourselves on providing a robust set of design/construction documents in order to alleviate exposure from your future general contractor. We go beyond what the regulatory authorities require in terms of filing with their Department of Buildings. We provide assistance with materials, light fixtures, millwork, etc. We have actually found that the sincere general contractor appreciates our work as it allows them to construct with little inhibition. Most general contractors want to construct with expediency in order to remain profitable.
We have experience as Architects and Project Managers, hence we know how to take your project from concept to constructed. We believe that we are problem solvers with your interest in mind throughout the design and contruction process.