Choices — It’s Everything!

You have to love a buffet. A full buffet offers countless options. You don’t have to know exactly what you want, but you have so many options you can try everything. What a joy to have so many choices. You have to hate a buffet. A full buffet contains so many options it provides no discretion so you overeat attempting to try everything. What a mess to have too many choices. Maybe the best choice is a well-developed menu with the right blend of food and quantity, like the detailed design phase in an architecture project where it’s not too much, but just right. read more →

Change — The Document Evolution

Allow me to take you on a journey. Sit back, feet on the floor, back pressed into the lumbar support on your chair, breathe deeply, close your eyes…wait, don’t close your eyes or you can’t read the rest of this article. Do everything up to the close your eyes part. Now that you’re comfortable, think back to elementary school science class. Maybe you had a teacher, like Ms. Kersey, who always kept a small fish tank, with a mossy rock, pond water and a few tadpoles she rescued from a pond, mud puddle or tire rut. Do you remember rushing into class every day to check the tank for the next stage in the metamorphosis? It starts as an egg, hatches into a head with a tail, develops legs, the tail shrinks, the mouth widens, the eyes bulge and the tadpole becomes a froglet that eventually grows lungs and transforms into a frog. The mature frog needed every stage from the initial birth through the transformation to become a viable frog. Construction documents experience a similar evolution. Documents begin as broadly-defined planning or scope documents, from which an architect creates detailed design documents and ultimately transforms them into construction documents. read more →

New Year — New Underwear

underwear. This year i bought new underwear. I know what you’re thinking “too much information” and “why do we care that an architect bought new underwear?”. A select few of you may even wonder what kind of underwear but this isn’t that kind of blog. read more →

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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Which Came First — Bid or Budget?

There is no definitive answer to the age-old argument about which came first the chicken or the egg, but there is an answer to the construction dilemma bid or budget. I’ve noticed a disturbing trend in the construction industry where an owner describes a project and a builder provides a number. That seems simple enough, but once the project starts the owner’s desire and builder’s cost diverge and the project fails leaving a jilted owner and a broken builder. This unfortunate situation is avoidable as long as you know what to ask and what you get when you ask. read more →

05 Nov 2010
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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 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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Stock Plan Shocker — Hidden Costs

Here’s a shocker, stock plans will not save you money! Stock plans will cost the same or more than a personalized home designed for you and by you. A home is not like clothing where one-size-fits all or like food where generic tastes almost like name brand. A home is as unique as you are and often more expensive than clothing and food combined. It is a long-term investment you keep much longer except for those of you who still have clothes you wore in high school stuffed in the back of your closet. Save yourself the Shock of Stock and think personalized! read more →

31 Aug 2009
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