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.
What information do I need to start working on a building
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.
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 is determined
a close estimate can be given.
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 commercial 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
Do I need a General Contractor?
A. A General Contractor is often the best choice to
ensure that you'll end up with the project you envisioned.
Modern building is a complicated process involving regulation,
permits, inspectors, subcontractors 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.
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 is
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, suppliers, etc.
If I decide I need a General Contractor, how do I choose
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 know from my
many years in the Southern Oregon area as well as contacts
I've made through my involvement with the Oregon Home
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 cautious about taking
the low bidder... there are few industries with more
room for "apples and oranges" discrepancies,
and the "bitterness of poor quality lingers on,
long after the sweetness of a cheap price is forgotten."