Frequently Asked Questions
Why can’t Chris tell me how much my project will cost to build?
Often, cost estimations can be determined by the end of phase 2 of the design process. Costs cannot be accurately determined until a contractor has priced the scope of work. There are many costs that only the person who is going to construct the project can account for. Some of these include the cost of labor, who they will hire, and how much they will be paid. The contractor also adds on a mark-up for overseeing the subcontractors and for the cost of materials. Overhead and profit is also taken into consideration.
The architect does have the ability to influence cost through design, the design process and alternates. When a budget is clearly defined up front, a design can be fashioned to fit within an acceptable range of costs. Through the design process and in conjunction with a contractor, estimates of preliminary designs can be made to ascertain the need to scale down a design to lessen the cost. Contained within the final drawing set, alternate design features can be established to provide ways of either adding or subtracting from the overall cost once the final pricing is known.
I saw it done on TV (HGTV and Houzz)?
How do you charge?
Why do I need drawings?
How long will it take to design and build?
As the client, what are my responsibilities?
Who else is involved in the process?
The architect and builder are not alone. Many other people are part of the process. Christopher helps coordinate other design professionals required to meet the technical aspects of your project. Other professionals may include structural engineers, mechanical engineers, site surveyors, soils engineers, lighting consultants, and possibly more based on the project parameters and your wishes.
How does Green building affect me?
While going Green in every manner that you can is generally a good thing, keep a few things in mind before proceeding with your building project. Embodied energy is contained in all products around us and in the effort to position those products in place. By removing an old structure or excavating land to build a new one, you are consuming embodied energy, which is consuming natural resources. Disposal of old, unwanted materials and the consumption of new materials is generally not a Green process. If you make the decision to dispose of the old and consume the new, it becomes your Green responsibility to do so wisely.
There are many Green products and procedures you can engage when designing, and Christopher is happy to discuss this topic at length in person. The most important thing you can do is to save energy over the long term–although not the most exciting–is the building envelope (foundation, walls, roofs, windows, and doors). By making the envelope of your home air-tight and super-insulated, you will save tremendous amounts of energy over the lifespan of the house. These issues are also regulated by code and is the single most important, easiest and least expensive way to go Green. After you have addressed these aspects of construction should you then consider all the other available components of designing a greener home. Christophers most trusted Green resource is: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com