Hardworking, personal service with a clear focus on the client's unique needs.
We particularly enjoy the expoloration of meeting new clients and developing a design for them that surpasses any expectations they might have had. We welcome the challenges that come helping clients achieve the best possible project that come from years of experience navigating within stringent regulatory and construction costs constraints.
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When starting a new project, we like to walk the project site with the owner and get a really accurate sense about their expectations, their areas of clarity and their blind spots.
We work hard to educate a client, reduce their unknowns and show them new ideas and solutions. This process better enables us to inspire them in the process to realize something more than they had imagined.
I have a Masters in Architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. I have worked in the profession for nearly 30 years, including a year in New Mexico working for a firm that designs straw bale and other types of sustainable designs.
I began my own practice 11 years ago in Marin County because I felt inspired by the scenary, the lifestyle and in the interest in the natural environment.
For a new home design, we are willing to create a fixed fee structure based upon a percentage of the projected budget. The industry standard is 9 to 12% for this contract type and we have been able to retain that at the low end. Occasionally for some clients and project scopes we have been able to hold that to even 7 or 8%.
Remodels are far more difficult to budget so we often agree to work hourly, with a similar percentage to calculate a not-to-exceed limit.
While at Berkeley, I was torn between engineering, product design, art and photography. Architecture was my main interest but an architect once told me that your handwriting had to be perfect so I thought I would never be accepted! Fortunately I got that cleared up right away.
I started working right away for a local firm and passionately pursued every opportunity to learn from other's experiences.
We have worked with many first time home owners, wealthy retirees, and Silicon Valley millionaires. There has hardly been a pattern and we make every house reflect the owners which is why our portfolio is so diverse.
To have the most successful project, ask plenty of questions. Hire someone who answers in a way that speaks to you. The architectural process is a challenge and you are not expected to know much so you should feel comfortable asking and comfortable listening to that person.
Every project has three variables, time, money and most importantly, quality. I ask folks to focus on two of the three, not all three. Decide what is most important and lead with those simply to organize the process and help shape your own expectations accordingly. Of course, the intent is to have a balance of all three but generally the only client disappointment I have seen is from the lack of clarity about this value system.