We maintain close communication with our clients because this relationship lies at the heart of a successful design process. We invite our clients to participate in a process of design that is suited to their own particular needs and preferences. We want to design not what we want, but what the Client wants, with our guidance. We are able to suggest many options based on our past experiences.
Every job is given personal attention. A job team will typically consist of two or three individuals (project manager, designer and draftsmen) plus our sub-consultants. All our jobs are computerized and we do 3-D modeling with actual models or with software, as design issues or presentations needs come up. We work with the best sub-consultants on the peninsula.
When we work with you on the design, we recommend product choices and where to shop, if you ask. Having a broad knowledge of both suppliers and contractors from the peninsula, east bay and south bay, we share our past experiences in remodeling projects in every way we can. We follow the current construction materials marketplace and keep an updated list of good places to shop wholesale in the Bay Area.
In determining the look of your home, both inside and out, we introduce a wide range of different material and product choices. We not only use popular materials, but offer alternate choices for reasons of efficiency (“sustainable”, or easily recycled materials), cost (wholesale price opportunities at certain showrooms), or because it fits your palette of materials or your combination of needs and tastes. Perhaps, also, we can show you something you haven’t seen before. Obviously, your budget drives these choices. The look can be very high-end and unrestricted, coolly modern on a budget, or a classic and handsome vernacular, put together in a warm and charming way with constant awareness of costs.
We foster relationships with residential contractors. We can refer you to people we trust and admire as both craftsmen and hard-working owners of contracting firms. There is often a price vs. quality of workmanship range among general contractors and in proper combination, certain ones should fit your budget profile. It is so much more comforting for us to know the new client will be working with a contractor who has worked with success and handsome results off of our drawings!
Often, the Client is a homeowner, not a corporation. We realize that homeowners want to understand the full process before they embark upon a costly home construction project, we describe for them the team of consultants, the timeline, the absolute importance of the Structural Engineer, the permit fee, the Contractor expectations, how to manage the Contract, and what it is like to live at home during the Project itself (if that is possible in the first place). We describe the public nature of the Design Review process if the project is a larger-size one. Here, the factor of the unknown, such as complaints coming from the audience, or a board member bent on redesigning, are variables that must be met with a receptive nature, but a firm response regarding our informed intentions and the necessity of maintaining the integrity of our design, if necessary. We also understand the benefit of relenting on smaller items in order to retain larger aspects of the design proposal. We go into Design Review with the intention of being fully successful, and nine times out of ten, we are. This is primarily because we are prepared in our zoning research and we are effective communicators.
In our home remodels, we remind the Owner that we have a preferred list of Contractors we work with. With our builders, there is mutual respect and no hidden agendas. Builders we have worked with understand their cost estimating and their overhead. We know their craftsmen and the level of quality in materials that vary with budgets. But, we also know that workmanship should never vary.