Vicki Telford Architects, VTA Vicki Telford Architects, VTA
 
The Role of the Architect
:: WHY USE AN ARCHITECT?
:: HOW TO SELECT AN ARCHITECT
:: THE STEPS OF USUAL SERVICES
:: FEES AND CONTRACTS
:: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
  1. Why should I hire an architect?
  2. What do you charge for your services?
  3. Do I need to hire any other design professionals or consultants?
  4. Will I need to hire an interior designer to choose materials, colors and furnishings?
  5. Do you do small projects?
  6. Can I save money by not involving the architect after the building permit is issued?
  7. Will I save money if you work from house plans purchased from a house plan book?
  8. Do you carry Liability Insurance?

Why should I hire an architect?
Some of the usual answers are: an architect is knowledgeable about all aspects of the design and construction process and designing a building can be a complicated task. An architect is trained to take your desires and turn them into a design that responds to your needs and requests. They can make the process of design go smoothly and act as an objective advocate during the construction process. Sometimes hiring an architect can save you money.

Architects are trained to understand the process of construction, and can help make construction go more smoothly, avoiding costly change orders. They can help you site your house to best take advantage of views and sunlight, and develop drawings and specifications for an energy efficient building. An architect can help you choose low maintenance and long lasting products that can save in future maintenance costs. When it comes time to sell your property, a well designed project will often sell for more and sell quickly because people value good design.

In addition to all of the above, we at Vicki Telford Architects believe that the process should be enjoyable and creatively satisfying for the entire team, and we work hard at making it gratifying. Whether you are remodeling, extending or building from scratch, the architect can help guide the way, working with contractors and suppliers to end up with a well designed project to meet your specific need and within your budgetary and time constraints.

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What do you charge for your services?
We typically charge on the final construction cost of the project for architectural services. According the BIA recommend fee scale, or usual services, residential clients should budget around 6% -10% of construction cost for new construction, and around 12% of construction cost for remodeling. Construction cost does not include the cost of the land, sales tax, the building permit, or fees of design professionals. We at Vicki Telford Architects think it is important for the architect to be involved during construction and typically devote 20% of our efforts to that phase.

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Do I need to hire any other design professionals or consultants?
Projects may require the design services of a licensed structural engineer. We typically hire these professionals and bill you for their fees as a reimbursable expense. These costs are usually included in our estimate of fees.
Many projects will require the services of a licensed surveyor if you do not have a current survey of your property. Some projects require assembling a team of consultants including an interior designer and landscape architect. We can assist you in choosing compatible individuals for a professional design team. These consultants typically are hired by you and will bill you directly.

We encourage having necessary consultants involved early in the design process and have found that collaborative efforts can be extremely enjoyable and can produce outstanding results.

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Will I need to hire an interior designer to choose materials, colors and furnishings?
While an interior designer can contribute a lot to a design, one is not always necessary. In our usual services we include the design of everything that is built-in, such as cabinets, vanities, countertops, light fixtures, etc. We help you select all materials and fixtures, such as tile, carpet, plumbing fixtures, drawer pulls, towel bars and other accessories.

Some clients like to purchase a few special pieces of furniture for their project and we can often help them with this. We have access to the same resources as an interior designer and can help you select furniture, rugs, and fabrics. If we feel you would be better served by an interior designer, we can provide you with recommendations.

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Do you do small projects?
There are many jobs featured on this web site under our PROJECTS section, but we have done a number of small remodels and additions for our clients that are not featured. We have designed small porch additions, bathrooms, bedroom additions to kitchen remodels. If you can imagine it, we are extremely happy to discuss it with you!
Many times a house has to be renovated in smaller phases when resources are available. We can help you determine the best possible process, and help you with each of the phases to end up with a cohesive end product.

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Can I save money by not involving the architect after the building permit is issued?
We have found that not involving the architects during construction of the project can lead to a poorly executed project that does not follow the original design intent. Building a project is complex, and problems will arise on the construction site. An architect can help to solve these problems and is vested in maintaining the original design intent. A contractor's solution to the problem may not be as sympathetic.

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Will I save money if you work from house plans purchased from a house plan book?
Designing a house is much more complex than choosing the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, and number of cars that will fit into the garage. Our services for a new house cost only a few percent more than what you will likely pay in sales tax for your project. For the investment, you will get a house that is ideally suited to you. We have found from past experience that clients and building departments will request so many modifications to the stock plans that there is little, if any, cost savings in this approach.

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Do you carry Liability Insurance?
Vicki Telford Architects carries a Standard Business Owner Liability Policy with a $500,000 professional liability policy.

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