These are busy times in the Bay Area. Many architects are hiring and there is energy in the air around design and construction. Working with larger firms may get you the brand name you see value in, but you may not get the service you need. At Hart Wright Architects, we work very closely with our clients. We do not send projects onto staff teams or to junior designers and.
Hart Wright Architects recently completed a commercial facade remodel project in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. The building sits on the corner of Sacramento Street and Presidio Avenue, formerly it housed a bank and was in need of a serious upgrade. Now it has a new retailer and the improved facade is an asset to this upscale neighborhood. The previous tenant was a bank and the existing design.
This post is a continuation of “What’s the Scope and What’s the Cost? How to get to the Design” Now the scope of work has been established, the next step is to design the project. Designing is drawing and discovering and working with the owner to figure out what the project will look like. Drawings are assembled into documents that are then used to tell a story- one of how.
As the economy heats up we’ve found ourselves discussing the design process and what to expect with potential clients repeatedly. We decided it would be good to share some of this information with you. We know many of you want to build or do a remodel but, like most of our clients, have little idea how much it will cost, how to budget for it or how the process works..
Construction Administration is one of the services we offer. As we are contracted to be agent of the owner, we use our intimate knowledge of the project, our vision, and our trained eyes to help the contractor solve inevitable problems that arise during construction. A very thorough set of drawings identifies main issues and communicates the intent of the design, but no single set of plans can ever cover everything.
We recently completed a renovation of a traditional 1950s house on the Peninsula. It had been added onto in pieces, and had a broken up layout from different families trying to make it their own over the years. This floor plan had all the typical spaces but their arrangement made for awkward living. The “L” shaped kitchen was cramped, the dining room was land locked an the living room was.
As part of a larger plan to redesign San Francisco’s main street, the Market Street Prototyping Festival put on by the San Francisco Department of City Planning partnered with Yerba Buena Center for the Arts San Francisco Planning’s Prototyping link .
The Victorian houses in San Francisco are typified by wonderful gracious tall ceilings but cozy small individual rooms with a lot of circulation. Lots are only 25 feet wide and a comfortable sized room could easily take up that width, but in Victorian times, the rooms were connected by hallways which made the living spaces even narrower. In addition, kitchens were service areas and they were intentionally separated out from.
1: Interview When you interview your architect you should like them and feel comfortable with them. Since you will be working with them, a lot can be said for how well they communicate and if working together will be a good fit. The architect should have a portfolio of past projects. It is very important to like their work. They will explain their process and you will get a feel.
We are always advocates of getting a contractor signed up early in the process and to provide pre-construction services. (see post “An Argument for Negotiated Bidding”) This method allows for cost control and builds a real team. We strongly believe in the team approach: architects and contractors work together with the owners to complete a project efficiently, on schedule and on budget. It is without adversarial issues that come up,.
In our never-ending struggle to explain construction costs to clients, we sometimes resort to the shell cost vs. finish cost estimating method. What is the difference between shell and finish? Finish cost is what most people think of when discussing construction cost. In other words, its the cost of the entire project including all materials from foundation to roof and all exterior and interior finish materials. Finishes are cabinetry, flooring,.
Here is a brief case study of a remodel where the objective of the project was to add light to the space, make the bedroom bigger, brighter and more functional, and to remodel the bath. Costs were kept down by not moving any plumbing fixtures and the goals were accomplished with some simple non-structural changes to the plan. The existing house had, and still has, extensive overhangs, which is good.
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