Q. Do I need to own land to design
my home or office?
A. It's not necessary but it's usually the best idea.
Each site has unique properties that influence good
design. While there is always plenty of preliminary
research and discussion, you'll be happier with a building
that is specific to the land it occupies.
Q. What information do I need to
start working on a building design?
A. I can start with a sketch on a napkin if necessary,
but of course the most you've thought about it, the
more quickly we'll come up with plans. Pictures from
magazines, photos from a vacation, sketches of floorplans
and a list of "wants and needs" are all valuable
to the design process. I have a comprehensive checklist
that lists the many components of a project, and in
my office, I keep a library of architectural reference
books to help the imagination.
Q. How do you charge for your services?
A. Consulting services are usually billed by the hour,
though project supervision can be arranged as a fixed
price or as a percentage of project cost. Design time
is billed by the hour, in addition to actual drafting
costs, but once the scope of a project os determined
a close estimate can be given.
Q. How can I see some of your work
or talk to your references?
A. I am proud of the hundreds of successful projects
I've completed and happy to show them off. Once we've
determined the nature of the services I can provide
you, I will furnish references and can arrange visits
to show you homes and commerical projects. Visiting
past projects is often useful during the design process
to help clients visualize options. A sampling of some
of my work is available in the Gallery section of this
Q. Do I need a General Contractor?
A. A General Contrator is often the best choice to ensure
that you'll end up with the project you envisioned.
Modern building is a complicated process involving reglations,
permits, inspectors, subcontrators and suppliers, liability
issues and an ever increasing array of building products.
A good contractor will steer your project, managing
and coordinating all the parts, and will often save
you a good portion of his or her fee.
There are many cases where an owner
can act as their own contractor, but the time commitment
can be considerable and a basic knowledge of construction
materials and practices are important. I can help you
decide whether you can tackle a project on your own,
and of course provide consulting and management services
to assist you, as well as recommending subcontractors,
Q. If I decide I need a General Contractor,
how do I choose one?
A. I am still accepting a limited number of projects
as a General Contractor, depending on timing and the
scope of the work, so that is one possibility. I can
also recommend General Contractors that I know from
years of contracts in the Southern Oregon area, as well
as others throughout the state that I know from my involvement
with the Oregon Home Owners Association.
If you are seeking a Contractor on your
own, remember that each one will have different strengths
and weaknesses; a good personal fit is important, especially
on a project that will last for months. Ask for references
and don't hesitate to follow up on them; a reputable
builder will be proud of his reputation. Be cautios
about taking the low bidder... there are few industries
with more room for "apples and oranges" discrepancies,
and the "bitterbess of poor quality lingers on,
long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten."