FAQs (or Frequently Asked Questions)
If the homeowner adds or changes the scope of work, this is handled with a change order? The value of the addition (or credit for the deletion) will be provided before the work is completed. There are circumstances when we will provide a change order for unanticipated work due to hidden existing substandard conditions. This could include such conditions as unanticipated termite or other structural damage, deteriorated plumbing, etc.
The homeowner’s earnest engagement in the design process is crucial to a successful project. The more effectively you are able to articulate your wants and needs, the better we will be able to help you. We promise to listen to you and know that your opinion is the one that ultimately matters. Please also listen to our designers who have great design insight and years of experience.
The permit is obtained and paid for as part of the construction contract. Additional fees will apply if your project requires presentation before Historic, Fine arts, or neighborhood review boards/committees or if it requires a variance or special exception permitting process. Typically, this work is completed during the first phase of the design process. Sometimes, if time is important, we will get a permit before a construction contract, but only with the client’s approval of the permit cost.
Engineering, site surveys, soil studies are not included in the design budget. If we anticipate that any of these will be necessary, we will let you know in advance and provide you with an idea of likely cost(s).
The design fee is a cost in addition to the cost of construction.
We will provide you with an estimated timetable for design and then for construction. If you have a defined timeframe for design and construction (for example, if you have a baby on the way or need to move in as soon as possible) we will let you know whether we can realistically achieve the schedule you would like. Since design is a process where the most important ingredient is your approval, the quicker you are able to make and approve design decisions, the quicker the process is likely to proceed.
This is what we call Pre-construction Services. Each year we build several projects designed by architects that were retained directly by homeowners. We are happy to review a set of drawings at no cost and provide you with a ballpark budget for construction, although if you would like a detailed construction cost estimate, we will require a retainer due to the investment of time and resources required to prepare it. Generally, the fee for preconstruction services is 2%-3% of our initial ballpark for construction. The retainer is fully credited to the construction contract once you proceed.
What if I am unsure about jumping into a full design process, but still want to get a sense of what I can do and how much it will cost?
There are some instances when it makes sense to proceed with an abbreviated design contract rather than with the full design process. In such cases, we typically propose a either a Feasibility Study or a Master Plan. A Feasibility Study is typically geared toward work that will all take place in a single construction phase, but has some complexities or uncertainties and several potential solutions. A Master Plan is typically geared to a large, multi-year, bigger budget project with two or more potential construction phases.
You have three standard options for tackling a major remodeling project:
a) You can retain an architect to design the project;
b) hire a contractor;
c) hire a Design/Build firm.
While each of these options presents its own benefits, liabilities and trade-offs, we feel you’re most likely to achieve the best outcome with a Design Build firm assuming that firm has both strong design and construction departments.
We see every project as two very integrated opportunities to build your project twice, once on paper, then in reality.
Making a list outlining your renovation goals and desires can help us provide you with the best proposal and the most accurate preliminary budget range. Typically, the more information, the better.
If your goals include additions to the house, please have a copy of your building plat for us. This will allow us to perform some preliminary zoning research to determine the shape and size of what is most likely within your rights to build.
While many people have no idea of what their project is likely to or should cost, most people know what they can and cannot spend. Please do not be shy about sharing your construction budget with us. While we understand that this is usually a sensitive issue, ultimately it is in the best interest of everyone to get the number “on the table” as early as possible. With a sense of the budget, we will be better able to help direct you to achieve as many of your goals as possible.
If you own your home or have a ratified contract on a property, we will meet with you at the property to review your scope of work at no cost. We will then draft a proposal outlining your goals and corresponding preliminary design and construction budgets.
We ask that you come into our offices so that we can present the proposal. This provides you with the opportunity to meet members of our design and construction teams, to look at a typical Landis Architects/Builders drawing set and to speak further about your project. Typically, we do not email or mail proposals unless circumstances preclude the meeting in our offices.
If you do not own or have a contract on the property in question, we charge a fee for this service. This cost, ranging between $250 and $500, will be provided before we come out to visit the site.
Though our visit does not equate to a home inspection, we can provide you with valuable information to help inform your buy decision. This work can include some preliminary zoning review and budgeting for what alterations and/or additions would be within your rights and what these might cost. If you hire us for design services, this fee will be credited to the design process.