Some of the more frequently asked questions


What's New


We were recently selected by the Oakland Housing Authority as a provider for Commercial Building Inspection services!



Current News


We are currently teaching a course in Architectural Design and Green Technology to a group of local students.  Each student designs their dream home, incorporates green design techniques into the building, and builds a scale model of the home.



Recent News


We recently completed a design/build project for the MCAS Training Center in Miramar, California, and have been approved by the SBA as the lead firm in a Joint Venture design/build project for the US Navy.




Frequently Asked Questions


How much will my project cost ?

There can be no specific answer to this question without first understanding what your project will entail, which is why we always like to have a meeting to discuss your project before we provide a fee proposal.  Is your project  new construction, or an addition?, are there existing drawings?, are there complex issues or new technology involved?  These are just some of the questions that we will want to discuss with you before we can address project costs.  The fee for a project can be determined in many ways, a stipulated sum, an hourly rate, or several other means and we will work with you to find a method that you are comfortable with.  With this in mind, typically fees for architectural services range from 8% to 15% of the construction cost for new projects, and fees for remodeling and addition projects range from 12% to 20% of the construction cost.

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How long will it take?

There are many factors that go into determining the length of a project including the size and complexity of the design.  If the project can be submitted for permits directly without any planning approval process this will expedite things.  If planning and design approval is necessary, additional time will be required depending on the jurisdiction.  This is something that we can discuss with you at our initial meeting.

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Can you help me select a contractor?

We have worked with many different contractors and can provide the names of several contractors that have the skill and experience necessary for your project.  You can also feel free to select your own contractor if you have worked with them before and have an established relationship.

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Do I need an architect for my project?

While we will not claim to be the most impartial body for this question, it is generally wise to hire an architect if you are not familiar with the design and construction process.  An architect has many years of training and experience to draw from in order to help your project run smoothly.   Most areas require that you hire an architect or engineer for all commercial work.  While an architect is recommended for residential projects, not all jobs require an architect.  You may contact your local building department for clarification on when a design professional is required.

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Do I need a building permit for remodeling?

Even the smallest jobs usually require a building permit.  There is no worse feeling than having a construction project stopped because there is no permit or finding out that your addition is not allowed under the zoning laws.  This can cause huge problems, not to mention expense for a property owner.  It is always best to check with the local planning and building department to determine what is required before you start.  This can save you hours of frustration down the road.

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When can I start my project?

After selecting an architect, the next step is to agree upon the fee and terms of a contract.  Once you have entered into an agreement with your architect, the design process will be under way and you will be one step closer to completing construction of your project.  While construction can take place year round in some areas, many clients find it advantageous to start the design process early enough to allow drawings to be completed in time to begin construction in the early spring.  This reduces the chance of construction delays due to bad weather.

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Information provide is for general purposes and should not replace sound judgment specific to your project or legal advice.