What style of architecture do you do?
Over the past 15+ years, I've worked in a variety of architectural styles, ranging from traditional to modern. Since I design custom homes, the architectural style is a reflection of the client's aesthetic style and their budget. Other factors such as the context of the home, the site conditions, climate, etc dictate what style makes sense for your project. That said, most of my current projects lean towards a more “contemporary” style (not to be confused with a “modern” style). Most homeowners that I work with want the same thing - a home that looks good and works for the way they live their life. Open floor plan, lots of natural light, indoor-outdoor connections, etc., are also popular items on the wish-list and these concepts align perfectly with a contemporary style.
What services do you provide?
I provide architectural design services and project management services. Once I know the scope of your project, I’ll put together a custom proposal based on what you'll need to get your project permitted and built. My services will depend on how much experience and comfort level you have with a home-build or remodel project. Busy people often find that they can use my PM services to their benefit. Most of my clients are busy parents and working professionals who may not have experience with a remodel or home build project - they benefit from a white-glove service that includes all aspects of a home project.
Do you build the house?
No, I’m not a Builder or a General Contractor and don’t plan to be one :). When I say “I’ll help you build your house”, I’m referring to the fact that I’ll continue to act as your architect during the construction stage of your project. Depending on our service agreement, I’ll provide specifications, construction details, and technical drawings for the builder to follow.
What is your role during construction?
I’ll visit the site at specific milestones to observe the progress and ensure that the builder is following the plans. This service is called “Construction Observation.” This is not to be confused with “Construction Management”, which is not a service I provide. How often I visit the site, and how involved I am depends on our service agreement, the builder, the complexity of the project, the unforeseen challenges that arise, etc. Please note that I do not work on projects where I am excluded during construction.
Do you work with a certain builder?
No, I’m not affiliated with any builders. But I’ve worked repeatedly with a few builders. Once I know more about your project, I'll introduce you to a few builders who I think will be a good fit based on the scope of your project, your budget, and needs. You get to choose the builder who will build your home.
Do you help with city permitting?
IMHO getting the permit for construction is the builders responsibility. The builder will be interacting with the city inspections and therefore should apply for permits. I provide all the architectural and structural drawings to meet the city's submission requirements.
Do I need an Interior Designer?
That depends on the scope and complexity of your project, how much time and energy you have to spend on making selections, and your ability to make those selections in a timely manner. I’ll be able to advise you on this and connect you with a few Interior Designers who can help you.
Is it better to remodel or buy another house?
This is the big question, isn’t it? It's been my experience that in today's hot Austin market, it pays to remodel. Don’t take my word for it. Talk to a realtor or an appraiser to compare $. I know from personal experience that it's hard to find an existing house that checks everything on your wish-list. You most certainly need to compromise on a few things. Also, keep in mind that looking for a house on the market is not a linear path. Just because you saw one house that came 80% close to your needs doesn't mean that the next one will be at 95%. Most of my remodel clients have gone searching down this path and come to the conclusion that it’s better and more cost effective to remodel the house they have and make it the best it can be.
What is your billing structure?
I work on an hourly fee basis.
Can you meet during the evenings or on the weekends?
Unfortunately not. As a mother of two young kids, I have a busy life outside work. Evenings and weekends are for family time, homework, kid’s activities, birthday parties, social gatherings, and everything else related to running a household, a family, and a small business. You know, the usual stuff :)! So, client meetings have to happen during office hours. I typically schedule client meetings and site visits for the mornings and work in my office in the afternoons (at least, that how I do my best work ;)).
What are your office hours?
My office hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm weekdays. My office is closed on weekends and national holidays.
What kind of projects do you do? What areas do you service?
If you want to remodel or add-on (extend outward or upward by adding another story) to an existing home in Central Austin, let’s talk.
If you want to build a new home in and around Central Austin, let’s talk.
What kind of residential projects do you not do?
I am not the right architect for you if you’re only looking for design services (i.e. you want to buy plans, design drawings, or construction drawings). Also, if you want to be your own builder (i.e. it's a DIY project), then it’s not a good fit. If you have a small remodel such as kitchen or bathroom remodel (that is within the existing exterior walls), a designer or interior designer will be able to help you.
Do you work on projects outside Austin?
While my background is in projects all over central Texas, my current projects are all in central Austin. If your project is in the hill country area or cities near Austin, I might be able to take it on. I do not work on projects outside Texas. I believe it's best to hire a local architect who understands the climate, the building codes, and has relationships with local builders, interior designers, experts, vendors, and suppliers.
Do you work on commercial projects?
No. My entire career in architecture over the last 15+ years has been in custom homes. I believe it's best to hire an architect who has experience with your particular type of project.
Do you work with developers to plan a subdivision?
No. I only work with homeowners on their own single family homes.
Do you work on spec homes?
I have in the past. If it's the right project and fit, and my schedule allows, then yes.
Can you show me a portfolio of your projects?
Of course. If and when you schedule an architectural consultation with me, I’ll send you a package.
Can you provide references from previous clients?
Absolutely. When I have a better idea of the scope of your project, I can provide you with referrals from similar clients who’ve done a similar project.
Who do I work with when I hire your firm to design my house?
I’m a sole-practitioner. There’s no intern, no drafting person, no worker bee. You get to work with me, a licensed architect with 15+ years of experience.