*Best of Houzz 2014!!!*

I have been voted *Best of Houzz 2014* for Client Satisfaction!  I am SO honored!

A press release is on its way!

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The Alternative Architect

I never thought of myself as an ‘alternative architect’ until a dear friend recently referred to me as such.  It made me stop and think hard about what he really meant.  The term ‘alternative’ to me resembles people and ideas quite different than the main-stream… such as skateboarders and alternative music; or birkenstock clad feet and dreadlocked hair; or someone who walks the path less, or even least, travelled.  The latter describes me best.

The more I thought about it, the more I became willing to embrace the idea that I am, in fact, an alternative architect.  The plain fact is that I do not stick to the norm because that’s just not who I am.  It’s something I’ve always known and even celebrated internally but for some reason I never merged that self-acceptance into my career.  And all it took was one small, off-the-cuff comment.  Isn’t it amazing how things work out like that?

That one simple comment has inspired me, can you tell?  I am inspired to be me!

I am the kind of designer who…

  • LOVES historical architecture.  It pains me to mess with a building’s original character by adding on if it can be avoided.
  • sometimes pretends to be Indiana Jane.  I am a total nerd about architectural salvage and constantly think about ways to use various items from the past in new designs.
  • appreciates clever use of materials in creative ways that do not hint of being pretentious.
  • believes excess is way over-rated.  Live efficiently, productively and with only what you really need.  If you haven’t used it or worn it in the past year, you probably don’t need it, and therefore you don’t need space to store it!
  • refuses to increase my overhead so that I am free to provide for my clients’ project needs without worrying about going over a company budget for time spent.

Wow!  That feels good!

Thank you, Michael, for being such a good and wise friend!

Now, on to new and exciting, beautiful things in 2014, including a new consultation service in locating architectural salvage materials for your next project!

The Importance of the Project Plan

More than once I’ve been asked whether or not it’s really necessary to hire an architect. Depending on the project scale, the straight answer is no, there may not be a need to hire an architect. But, what IS essential is a comprehensive project plan which is often times prepared by an architect, designer, or design-build contractor. The project plan includes specific details on the entire project scope from beginning to end.

When details are not clearly defined, the likelihood of problems is almost guaranteed. The first problems arise when the contractor must make assumptions on certain details in order to provide a cost estimate or leave those details out of the cost estimate altogether. Either scenario invites the potential for costly change orders and added time to the project schedule, both of which result in heavier stress on all sides. We all know that elevated stress levels create a breeding ground for conflict, therefore leading to further issues.

Take the time to clearly define the project plan with all of the details specified. Estimate the cost as accurately as possible and set a target completion date. It will save you money and plenty of headache medicine in the end. After all, don’t you want to enjoy your investment when it is done instead of being reminded of all the anxiety it caused?

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