Re: Minimum project size that designer/arch. will take?


I'm just wondering - for a house, what is the minimum project size, project cost, or square footage that one can reasonably expect a designer or architect to take on? I understand that higher cost translates into a higher fee, so I'm wondering what the breakoff point is before one gets laughed out of the office so to speak.
((I realize that there are thousands of pre-done plans online and in books, where you can see the layout and elevation before ordering blueprints, but over the years, I've never yet found one that I didn't end up scribbling all over to change things...))
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- Kris M. Krieger

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Response to any project is going to be based on a number of things. Cost structure of the design office is first. (There are a lot of folks with very low overhead and lots with very high overhead. Don's is a lot higher than mine.) Work load (If I'm very busy with a lucrative job, I'm less interested in small jobs with low margines Design potential (If the possiblilities for an interesting design exist, I'm more likely to take a job) Client attitude (If the client seems willing to understand the work required, pay a reasonable fee, & allow a reasonable schedule, I'm more likely to listen than if I sense the client is going to be difficult) TB
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A couple of more factors....
liability.........I would be much more likely to take a small project from a family memeber / friend than an unknown attorney :-)
Client history..........I do plenty of really small projects for one particular client because it lands us the bigger ones as well. I would also do a small project for if there was the potential for them bringing in more work in the future.
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I typically do to, unless they are in the business.......which is what I was thinking about when I posted........I have a couple friends that are small time contractors.......occassionally they need advice / minor drawings to pull permits...(typical example........they were repairing an older house where the vestibule was sinking into the basement.......the basement extended under the porch, and over the last 50 years, leakage had rusted the steel to a point where it was near collapse...........I designed a new layout so future leaks were not likely to cause a problem.simple one page job, but they needed it for permits)..........for which I will charge them a small amount so they don't take advantage of me :-)

Did a dumpster enclosure for a client a couple of weeks ago........ :-) but this same client brings ten's of thousands of dollars of work to the office.........and when we invoice on Tues, we have a check on Fri................I wish I had a dozen more lioke him. :-)

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I'm reading through all the replies, and it's all interesting and educational; this is something I've been curious about for some time (since I can't quite let go of the dream of eventually settling down somewhere and havign a place built). I hadn't thought of some of the things mentioned, but it all makes sense.
I'm presupposing BTW that a potential client would also be prepared to some extent, both with examples of his own wants/needs, and having reseached the designer's previous work (which IMO is where the internet would is a great, but under-used tool).
((Which then brings to mind the question of why it does seem to be under- used - not only would it be useful for the designers and architects, but I personally think it'd be quite fun and interesting to work with them as a web site author, so it makes me wonder whether there are any website creators who actively seek out architectural clients, and if not, why not? But, that's a totally different question; my mind is just wandering again...))
Anyway, thanks for the input :) and it will be interesting to see any additional ideas -
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- Kris M. Krieger

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I'm basically thinking about a moderate house, in terms of project. Because I assume it takes nearly as much time and effort to do a small to modest place as a large place.

It's probably the situation of "one size *doesn't* fit all". But that's interesting to know :)

Thing is, I haven't even seen a rough elevation and/or floorplan that I like, never mind detailing...
Problem is that I also haven't been able to come up myself with a model of anything that really satisfies me, either =:-o ! Not that I don't keep trying, tho' ;) !!

That's a good principle. I don't think there's any such thing as a satisfying result, when building, from "Quik'n'EZ".
Mostly I just look at these things for ideas. I also keep thinking of trying to model a few (if I could find one I like well enough) just to add them to my online "portfolio".
Even if I went that route for an actual dwelling, tho', I'd still want to first run it by a professional who has done work that appeals to me :)
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- Kris M. Krieger

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That sounds about right to me... What comes easily to the one, can be confusing and a mystery to the other, plus there is a terminology difference, so you have to bridge a communication gap, trying to understand what they want and trying to communicate your ideas in a way thy understand. That can be very difficult, even if talent and expereince (with doing that) is on one's side.
It *can* be fun to exchange ideas and come up with something that the people feel expresses them, it's just a lot more work than I think is commonly realized.

Just reading all that makes my brain hurt!

I think that, as one gets older, one is less able to tolerate fools. OTOH one also gains more of a sense of practicality. Sometimes the two can be difficult to reconcile ;)
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