Will Gerstmyer Architects

Will Gerstmyer Architects

3 employees

About this pro

My clients over the past 30 years are all now my friends. If you like the refinement that we bring to design, you will love working with us.


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Newburyport, MA 01950
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What is your typical process for working with a new customer?

I spend a lot of time getting to know my clients, their goals as well as their day-to-day life, because I, personally, will not be using the spaces we design. We want to know you very, very well. Our motto: "we design what you'd design if you had our skills and experience." With some clients, this is a lot of meetings and going over possibilities. With others, the decisions come fast and the meetings are few. Our fee is the same, we charge by the project and not by the hours. We love the interaction and our work.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have a degree in Landscape Architecture, a Masters in Architecture, two post-graduate fellowships in Urban Design, and have taught a number of years in Interior Architecture --- I love design at all scales and think they are all integrally intertwined.

My first house design (which I helped build) included mylar solor panels of my design, still working after 40 years. Other sustainability. credentials and ongoing continuing education includes a LEED membership and Living Building Challenge projects.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your services? If so, please share the details here.

While no two projects are alike, and fees are discussed up front, a general rule of thumb is that professional fees are between 8% - 12% of the construction cost of the project.

How did you get started in this business?

My high school guidance counselor thought my blend of interests in art and physics might suit a career in architecture. Because my dad was an engineer I started school there at Thomas Jefferson's University of Virginia. But once I wandered over to the School of Architecture, the switch was made after my first semester. Scholarships, prizes, fellowships, a turn at teaching and designing/building a house while I was still in school all gave me a great start.

What types of customers have you worked with?

I started with houses, as most architects do, and then worked with institutional clients, especially on college campuses. This was a great fit for my broad array of design interests, from master planning to landscape, to architecture and interiors. Once I went out on my own, some larger projects still come my way but mostly I do residential and commercial projects, with town planning mixed in. College buildings, like Harvard Sailing, are still on the agenda.

If it is a fun client, I will work on it. Unique is good, too. I am currently working on a home made out of shipping containers.

What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a pro in your area of expertise?

Make sure it is a great fit. You will be "married" to this architect for a while and it should be great fun to create something together.

What questions should customers think through before talking to pros about their needs?

I don't expect anything and am happy to work with someone from ground zero as they are just figurng out what it is they want to achieve. I assume that I will help with all aspects of this sometimes bewildering and sometimes highly complicated process of designing, bidding, and construction. This is my world (which I need to be an expert in) but you should save your efforts for the fun stuff and know that your expert is handing the challenging stuff. For instance, what I will save you on the hiring of the right contractor (one who is reasonable and will give you more product for the same amount of money) easily covers my fee and often way more than that.

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