Rent An Architect
This service is not about surviving in a difficult economy. We started it in a great economy because we’re undoing more work than ever before. In a great economy, companies often expand their services to make more revenue. In a challenging economy, companies often expand their services to survive. For example, have you noticed roofing companies are now offering full renovation and other services? In both situations, companies move into a scope of work that they don’t understand.
Though we appreciate the opportunity to help Owners, it’s heartbreaking to correct work that they’ve paid for because the cost is now significantly higher than if the project had been done right in the first place. So, we realized that we can often consult with you, sometimes just over the phone, to help you avoid the pitfalls of our industry before you get started. Despite our fees, this can significantly reduce your costs, it’s typically safer, it protects the value of your property, it’s less disruptive to your life and you have greater peace of mind.
Undoing: Correction of Existing Work
Correction of existing work typically starts with a forensic review in which we evaluate the potential causes of the problem that’s been realized. For most of this work, we include our consulting engineers and supporting staff. Common problems include structural, building system, water intrusion, building code and zoning issues. Most of the issues related to the building (not zoning) create safety concerns for the occupants of the building.
As you might expect, we generally don’t just undo the work that’s caused the problem; we prefer to propose a solution that corrects the problem. We can also assist you with the bidding and contract administration for the demolition and new work. In previous work, we’ve been able to get a contractor to correct his own work, based on our design, with no additional construction cost to our Owner.
Peer Review|Document Coordination
Peer review is reviewing the work of another (professional). We’re typically asked to engage in this best practice when you want a second professional opinion, need help resolving an issue with your team or you want to add our skill set to your project. It’s also a healthy exercise before the design is well developed because a fresh set of eyes may notice problems that you and your team have reasoned your way into. Just calling out those problems and suggesting a alternative can add significant value, even to small projects.
Document coordination typically involves reviewing the bid documents and contract documents to see if they accurately represent the intended scope of work. For residential projects, this can involve coordination for structure, building systems and other complex issues. The goals of both peer review and document coordination are more accurate bids, fewer change orders during the construction process and assurance so you can find the necessary level of comfort to move forward with your project.
Preservation is about protection of architectural and historical elements, whether they’re homes, gardens, landscapes, objects or their related components. Some Owners have no choice but to work with historic preservation commissions while other Owners choose preservation because protecting the heritage of a property protects its pedigree, which also protects the value of the property.
We provide a range of services, from research to planning and development of appropriate details. Preservation work is often more challenging than typical projects because the components and details are no longer readily available. We may have to develop some innovative solutions, including custom fabrication, to complete the project successfully.
Infill development typically refers to new construction projects on a lot in an existing neighborhood. In some cases, the existing house is torn down to make way for new construction, in other cases, the lot was never developed. When these projects are in older, in-town neighborhoods on relatively narrow lots, designing a house to meet your program within the zoning ordinance and building code on a tight lot is a significant challenge.
Moving your infill development project through the site analysis and an initial schematic design study can quickly tell us what key challenges need to be overcome. Infill projects often call for more efficient designs that make the most of compact spaces. They can also require a variance for zoning or building code issues. We can guide you through these issues so we can make the best of a challenging lot.
Out-of-State and International Projects
International projects offer more logistical and regulatory challenges than our domestic work. Successful international projects depend on a well developed program, a carefully selected project team, clearly defined responsibilities and open channels of communication. It’s not enough for us to produce the design and have the local project team members oversee the construction. International projects need to respond to local conditions, local culture and be navigated through the local approval process.
All of our Owners appreciate a western level of sophistication as more and more cultures move toward western standards. For us this means embracing the culture and defining qualities of the project site while building to the most current building code, accessibility, universal design and other standards. Sometimes this means introducing new technologies, means and methods though local teams always seem anxious to learn when we take care to see that they’re intellectually invested in the project.
Our US Owners like working with a local architect who keeps the same hours, speaks the same language and has experience as the team leader on international projects. Our foreign Owners are often looking for something new: in addition to technical expertise, they want a style, vision or level of service that they can’t find in their market.
Furniture & Fabrication Design
If you can’t find what you need, we may be able to help you make it. Commissioning furniture is a great way to get more performance out of common pieces, respond to difficult spaces that won’t accommodate standard sizes, and get a unique look. You can also save a considerable amount of time and expense if you’re looking for an inspiring, signature piece or collection: design and fabrication costs can be less than the cost of furniture marked-up by a vendor, you don’t have to search endlessly and you can have exactly what you want.
Fabrication is typically metalwork of metals like wrought iron, copper, aluminum and stainless steel. Fabrication isn’t limited to furniture, pieces can include exterior ornamental pieces, doors or more utilitarian pieces like stairs, guardrails, gates, racks and shelving. We enjoy the challenge of designing solutions that are functional, beautiful and durable.
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