FAQ's

WHY SHOULD YOU HIRE AN ARCHITECT?
  • Few people realize how complicated it is to build - that is until they find themselves lost in the maze of design options, building codes, zoning laws, contractors, and so on. No two building projects are exactly alike, so there is no single, clear-cut path to follow.
  • DA+D is a professional architectural firm that has the education, training, experience, and vision to guide you through the entire design and construction process, from helping you define what you want to build to helping you get the most for your construction dollar. We see the big picture. We don't just design four walls and a roof - we create total environments, interiors and exteriors, that satisfy functional needs and are exciting, dynamic spaces in which to work and live.
  • Whether you are remodeling, adding on, or building from scratch, DA+D can guide the way. Working with contractors and other construction professionals, we can help you end up with a well-designed project that meets your needs and works with your budget and time frame.


WHAT STEPS ARE REQUIRED IN COMPLETING A PROJECT?
Design and construction projects involve several steps. Typically, most of our projects go through the following six phases. However, on some projects, several of these steps may be combined or there may be additional ones.
Step 1: Programming/Deciding What to Build
We will discuss the requirements for the project (how many rooms, the function of the spaces, etc.), testing the fit between your needs, wants, and budget.
Step 2: Schematic Design/Rough Sketches
DA+D will prepare a series of rough sketches, known as schematic design, which show the general arrangement of rooms and of the site. We can also generate 3D models and animations to help visualize the project. You review these sketches and if approved we will proceed to the next phase.
Step 3: Design Development/ Refining the Design
DA+D will develop more detailed drawings to illustrate other aspects of the proposed design. Floor plans show all the rooms in correct size and shape. Outline specifications are prepared, listing the major materials and room finishes. Once the Design Development drawings have been approved we can then begin developing the submission set for the required building permits.
Step 4: Preparation of Construction Documents
Once you have approved the overall design, DA+D will prepares a very detailed drawing set and specifications, which the contractor will use to establish actual construction cost and build the project. These drawings and specifications become part of the building contract.
Step 5: Hiring the Contractor
DA+D is happy to assist in making some recommendations but ultimately the home owner will make the final selection for who will be constructing the project. In many cases, homeowners choose from among several contractors they've asked to submit bids on the job. DA+D can help you prepare bidding documents as well as invitations to bid and instructions to bidders.
Step 6: Construction Administration
While the contractor will physically build the home or addition, DA+D can assist you in making sure that the project is built according to the plans and specifications. We can make site visits to observe construction, review and approve the contractor's applications for payment, and generally keep the you informed of the project's progress. The contractor is solely responsible for construction methods, techniques, schedules and procedures.


HOW DOES AN ARCHITECT GET PAID?
How architects charge for their services can be confusing to first-time clients. At DA+D there is no set method, we are flexible depending on whats best for you and your project. That being said fees can be established in a number of ways, depending on the sort of project, and the amount and nature of the services best suited to your unique needs.

Some projects are best done at hourly rates; others for a stipulated sum per unit, based on what is to be built (for example, the number of square feet, apartments, rooms, etc.). Some clients prefer a fixed fee; others a percentage of construction costs. We may suggest a combination of the above methods. The basis for the fee, the amount, and payment schedule are issues that we will determine together that best suits your needs.


WHY BUILD GREEN?
Buildings consume up to two-thirds of a city's electricity. In addition, they use a significant fraction of water and other natural resources, as well as contribute 12% of landfill waste. Given that thousands of new construction and remodel building projects are permitted each year, improvements to building layout, design and material selection, combined with the installation of more efficient fixtures, appliances, and heating and cooling systems could contribute to significant savings of electricity, gas, and water consumption and a reduction in the quality of solid waste leading to our landfills. DA+D green building program addresses five key areas:
Site Location – site planning, landscaping, stormwater management, construction & demolition recycling
Water Efficiency – efficient fixtures, wastewater reuse, efficient irrigation
Energy and Atmosphere – energy efficient appliances and temperature controls, clean/renewable energy sources
Materials & Resources – materials reuse, efficient building systems, use of recycled & rapidly renewable materials
Indoor Environmental Quality – improved air quality, increased daylighting & improved thermal comfort/control


A WORD ABOUT COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK
The best building projects are created when we work together as a team. The process can be fun, satisfying and positive. If at any time during the design process you have a question or concern don't hesitate to discuss this. DA+D wants to ensure that you feel comfortable with your role and the amount of control of your project. I like to encourage my clients to take an active role. Designing a building is an exciting, creative challenge!