Construction Biz 101 – Billing Unmasked

The design is complete and it’s time to solicit bids. The client receives a bid summary that lists major line items and sums to a total amount. A second bid similarly lists major line items but not necessarily the same items or total. It’s the same project but the competing bid numbers are different. What the …?! Are there hidden project costs the Owner pays? The short answer is “No, there are no hidden costs, but a bid calculation combines several tangible costs with different labels such as Hard Cost, Overhead Cost and Profit. read more →

11 Oct 2018
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How Much Do You Charge per SF? — Loaded Question?

What’s wrong with architects? They always answer questions with questions especially the most important question “how much do you charge?” Has this ever happened to you? Your architect interview is plodding along nicely. You ask questions about his work, and he asks a few questions about your family and project. About the time you learn a little about each other and develop some comfort you spring an innocuous question “How much do you charge?” and your architect partially side-steps your direct question and asks a series of probing questions. read more →

19 Apr 2011
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What are we paying for?

What are we paying for? You’re paying for your architect’s time, advice and expertise. Most people think they are buying documents, but the documents are the tools your architect uses to communicate your expectations to your builder and what you’re really paying for is what it takes to put them together. I can assemble a.. read more →

15 Sep 2010
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How detailed are your drawings?

How detailed are your drawings? In a phrase, VERY detailed. My drawing set includes plans (site, roof, floor, framing) and layout drawings (foundation, electrical, mechanical, plumbing). I also add elevations (exterior, interior) and finish schedules (door, window, room, cabinet). Last but not least, I include architecturally-unique construction details and 3D drawings to show how to.. read more →

16 Dec 2009
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How do I get a good construction estimate?

How do I get a good construction estimate? The jury is still out, but one thing is for sure; no one knows what a project costs until it’s finished. The industry and most builders will suggest they are better estimators than architects are. I agree that a builder will arrive at a price for your.. read more →

12 Dec 2009
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Why should I involve a builder in design?

Why should I involve a builder during design? Because it benefits you and improves your project success! If you don’t involve a builder who understands market price fluctuation during design, there is a chance you will design a home you cannot afford. I will design a home that meets your requirements and desires and will.. read more →

10 Sep 2009
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Who is Your Architect?

Everyone has a story. Whether you’re two or ninety-two, we all have history and experience that makes us who we are and why we are. If you’ve ever spent time waiting in line at a Wal-Mart register you’ve probably heard a few enlightening stories via the talkative extrovert recounting life and family events that shape.. read more →

08 Jul 2009
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What does “green” mean to an architect?

What does “green” mean to an architect? You’ve heard the real estate mantra, location, location location…well, “green” means thoughtful and responsive design and it’s all about location. No matter what synonym you use — “sustainable design”, “green building”, “passive design” “LEED”, “environmentally friendly” It’s about relative location – where you put the house on the.. read more →

13 Jun 2009
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