Save Money – Go with a Bay Area Architect

Recently, I had a very well aware prospect walk into my office, with a handful of drawings, sketches and skepticism, mostly related to cost. He is looking to open a retail spot nearby and till now was using designers and contractors to “draft” details to get a permit for construction. The City building officials were having a hard time approving the very “rough sketches” and piecemeal information being given to them.

He came to me to get some details done, I told him, that this is a typical Tenant Improvement job. The building officials need an entire permit package, showing construction details, ADA compliance both inside and outside, health department’s compliance for kitchen & serving areas, title 24 part 6 calculations for lighting and shell improvements, other building code compliance and on and on. I continued to tell him that I can do a couple of details for him and send him on his way, only to have the approval being delayed by the building officials and him coming back.

By the end of a 30 minute meeting, he understood that hiring an architect to do a complete permit package will actually save him money and he’ll have a well thought of project, complying with local, state and national building codes and not just aesthetically superior.

An architect on a daily basis coordinates a multitude of consultants and therefore are quickly able to meet a client’s requirements instead of pushing excessive services on them. Understanding the building codes helps me to know exactly what is needed on a project, instead of recommending unnecessary site and structural changes. Understanding and practicing green -building further helps to save clients money in the long run. We are trained to see the big picture and understand the scope of a project in its entirety unlike other disciplines, this is precisely why large projects are awarded to Architects who then coordinate engineers etc where and if needed.

Next time you’re in doubt and choose to go with a designer, drafter etc. I suggest sitting down with an Architect and understanding what’s involved. The fear of high cost may be just that, an unfounded fear and a meeting or a telephone conversation with an architect can really help you gain focus and most likely help you save money!

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