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...))
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.)
(If I'm very busy with a lucrative job, I'm less interested in small
jobs with low margines
(If the possiblilities for an interesting design exist, I'm more likely
to take a job)
(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)
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.
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. :-)
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
Anyway, thanks for the input :) and it will be interesting to see any
additional ideas -
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 :)
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
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 ;)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.