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 is 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 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 website.

Q. 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.

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 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.

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 know from my many years in the Southern Oregon area as well as contacts I've made through my involvement with the Oregon Home Builders 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 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."


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