“What is your favorite type, or style, of house to design?”
I get asked that question quite frequently and the answer is simple: I don’t have one. I’ve had my fair share of clients who have come to me after leaving their previous designer/architect because that person didn’t seem to listen to their needs and only intended to guide them towards a particular type of exterior elevation. With me it’s simple: my clients are paying the bill so it’s up to me to figure out what they want and how give it to them!
“How long does it take for you to design a house/remodel?”
The time varies with the design. The more information you have for me the quicker the process goes. Usually I can sketch something out in front of a client in around 20 minutes and after a few revisions get the schematic pretty close to what they are looking for. It only takes me a couple of hours to transfer the sketch into my CAD system, from which I’ll generate a PDF file to send to you for your comments.
“What kind of design consultation do you provide and how much does it cost?”
We can discuss the design options over the phone or I can come out to the site and give you some ideas regarding your project. I charge a nominal fee for the initial consultation, based on your location. If you decide to hire me as your designer then I will go over the design fees, payment schedule, services included, etc, and will collect an initial deposit from you to begin the design process.
“Are you a designer, interior designer, or licensed architect?”
I am a residential designer. Although I attended four years of architecture school I do not have the degree. Most people will be surprised to know that residential design is, for the most part, not taught in architecture school. In fact it’s been my experience that most houses are designed by people like myself who have learned about house design over the years; licensed architects typically work in the commercial industry, although that doesn't mean that there aren’t any architects who design houses.
“What’s the difference between a residential designer and an interior designer?”
As a residential designer I plan the layout of rooms based on my client’s needs. I also develop the exterior elevations while keeping in mind the style of house that my clients wish to have. An interior designer will help out with space planning/furniture layout as well as interior finishes (rugs, drapes, cabinetry styles, etc). If you have the budget for an interior decorator they are definitely an asset during the design process.
“How do you base your fees?”
My fees are based on a project-by-project basis. When designing new houses I charge on a price-per-square-footage basis which will include the total living, porch(es), and garage areas. Usually for an addition or remodel/renovation I will charge an overall fee based on the amount of design work and the types of drawings required. There have been times when a remodel project was so large that I charged the square footage basis because so much of the original home was being remodeled.