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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Why Does My Home Cost So Much?

Inquiring clients want to know, “Hey, Mr. Architect. If you’re so smart, then tell me why my home costs so much! It’s only natural to wonder why your home costs so much. That’s the same thing I wondered when I built my home. I saw the signs advertising “Build on your lot for $60/SF” and “Homes from the $100s” but when I built my personalized home, no one offered to build on my lot for $60/SF and no one could build my humble home for $100k. Are builders telling the truth? read more →

26 Feb 2009
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Will you barter services?

Will you barter services? I accept cash, check and credit cards. I’ve never bartered, but have learned through my accountant if you have a marketable skill bartering can sustain you during a tough cash-suffering economy. If you have a marketable skill, I may be willing to negotiate market-value services for similarly valued services. Part of.. read more →

16 Nov 2008
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What fees should I expect?

What fees can I expect an architect to charge?   Architects charge for time, materials and occassionally travel. Review your architect’s contract to find out when he/she will charge and how much for time versus incidentals. Remember, architects do not sell products so you should expect to pay fees for your architect’s time to produce.. read more →

01 Dec 2007
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How much does an architect charge?

How much does an architect charge?   The short answer is “it depends”. The long answer is an architect charges based on what you want done, what you ask him/her to do and how much of it. In archispeak this fee trinity is called the project Service, Scope and Scale. Architects offer you pre-design, design.. read more →

10 Sep 2007
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