FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. What kind of projects do architects take on?
Architects, like other professionals, can focus their talents in a specific area of architecture like educational, commercial, or perhaps residential. Some use their training in various aspects of the industry.
The design fundamentals that architects base their knowledge on can also translate through various parts of the design project from the form of the house to the layout of the kitchen to the design of the mud room. A good architect will reinforce the design goals throughout the project.
My experience is residential architecture. The impact you can make in people's lives by providing them a place to love and identify with is my passion and goal.
I think it is important to understand that good design can be created regardless of budget. Creating something special doesn't require the best materials or biggest budget. Great design takes different criteria and creates a set of guidelines to work within which can be inspiration for the project.
Q. What does an Architect do and why do I need one?
Architects are problem solvers. Everyone uses spaces differently and an Architect will help you understand the most important desirables therefore helping to define the design direction for the project. They will help you create a meaningful and client specific project while working within in a specific set of parameters such as time, program and budget.
As the design becomes more clear and moves forward an Architect's role is to communicate and reinforce the design intent of your project to the builder. They should protect your overall goals and work with other professionals to make sure you get what you were planning for.
Q. Why hire an Architect versus buying stock house design plans?
Everyone has difference spatial requirements-some inspired by culture, some by program need or use, and some are emotional. I find it so exciting to understand these differences and generate a “design inspiration” around the way someone may use space.
In addition, every site is different. I believe environmentally responsible design understands and integrates site context. Sun orientation, as an example, one might not have control over with a "stock" design. If proper sun orientation isn't thought through you might end up with an undesirable living situation. A design dilemma you might find would be blocking your view at sunset because the sun is shinning right into your living room and you have to lower the blinds. What a missed opportunity. With a proper understanding of home placement and solar orientation you could create a better relationship and potentially maximize the view while minimizing the impact of the sun shining directly in your eyes. A proper understanding of solar orientation could also impact the heat gain and heat loss in your home therefore affecting your cost to heat or cool your home.
Custom design integrates the relationship between the program and the site. Why not customize your home to maximize your life. Using a "stock" design might mean you miss opportunities to maximize the way you live. The program and site can work together to create a truly unique space build for you.
Q. What is your design style?
Good design fundamentals rooted in the clients needs will guide the design of the project. All clients will have a set of unique requirements. I will work alongside the client to fully understand what qualities they are looking for in their special space.
Q. How much do architects cost?
Good question. Architects typically charge a % of the value of construction plus taxes for single-family residential projects. The Architectural Institute of British Columbia publishes a "Tariff of Fees for Architectural Services". The Tariff provides recommended fees and architectural services levels so professional expectation is in place, in the public interest.
The "standard" fee typically includes all stages from early design sketches to the administration of the construction phase. Having said that, there are many variables that play into fee- scope of services, type of services required, size of project, etc. Architects can play many roles which might only require a small amount of hourly guidance. The involvement varies depending on the specifics of the project and the scope of services required. A good discussion between the client and Architect about requirements and expectations is required to have a proper understanding of cost.
Q. How do I choose an Architect?
It is very important that you find an Architect you connect with and like communicating with because you will be working with this individual on a very personal level. Having an open dialogue allows an Architect to tailor space towards a client's needs and desires which is vital to a successful project.
Q. Why hire me?
I enjoy working with people to understand their ultimate goals. Ultimately, the space is yours as the client and it is important that you feel comfortable with the choices being made for your project. Offering you design options opens the dialogue of discussion, enables you to see the possibilities and hopefully gives you more confidence in making decisions. Sometimes seeing what you don't like enables you to determine what you do like.
I hope to help guide you through the process. Design isn't about me telling you what you need. We will work together to find a unique design solution that will fulfill your goals and create a unique space for you.
Most importantly I am accountable. I will get the job done on a schedule that is discussed and agreed upon. I find it very important to meet people's expectations so an open dialogue is very important.
My extensive educational background, travel and work experience have built a solid foundation for residential design. I look forward to helping you design space you truly love and are inspired by.