Working with RTA

Moving into your new custom home or moving back into your newly-remodeled home is the culmination of a complex process involving a significant commitment of time, effort, and money, and the coordinated efforts of many parties.

We hope to have the opportunity to be your Architect; but before you hire us, we want you to understand who we are and what we can do for you.

A successful residential architecture project can be a tremendously rewarding experience for you; the most important thing we’ve learned is that success is most likely when all parties have equal expectations for the project, and work towards the common goal of fine residential design.

What Does An Architect Do For You?

An Architect’s primary role is creating an attractive, buildable, valuable design for you.  But “design” is only part of the story; We’re with you right through construction, giving you confidence and bringing greater value to your project.

(Our design process is described in detail here)

The real value of an experienced Architect is apparent right at the beginning – we work with you to thoroughly study and understand your situation before we begin designing.  The more we know about what you want, the more we’ll be able to help, and that’s what “custom design” is all about.

Obviously, we’re going to put together a set of drawings and specifications that describes your project in detail to the builders we’ll interview; but that’s only one of the reasons to hire us – here are a few of the others:

  • Help you find and evaluate potential building sites
  • Work with you to explore more than one potential design solution
  • Create a custom design based on your specific needs, wishes, and desires
  • Create a design that responds to your building site
  • Establish realistic cost expectations through planning and design
  • Architect-designed projects typically have higher resale value
  • Create a cost-efficient structural system
  • Design for energy-efficiency and sustainability
  • Help you choose materials and colors
  • Steer your project through Architectural Review Boards, Zoning Boards, and Building Departments
  • Help you find the right contractors to bid on your project
  • Evaluate bids from several contractors
  • Resolve issues during construction
  • Monitor construction and help you avoid “contractor horror stories”

Client and Architect: A Good Fit?

For your benefit and ours, we want to find out early on if we’re compatible.  We’re of most value to clients who are interested in taking an active role in the design process and who are open to considering more than one possible design concept for their project.

But before we begin working together, we’ll talk with you about what you should expect from our professional relationship; what services are appropriate and how much you should expect to spend; and how long the various phases of the project might last.

Perhaps most importantly, we’ll frankly discuss with you what the construction of your project is likely to cost.  No sugar coating here – we’d rather you knew up front what you should expect for your construction dollar.

The first time that we meet, we’ll be very interested in learning all we can about you and your project.  We’ll ask questions about time, money, and design, listen carefully to what you have to say, and then tailor a proposal of services and fees for you.

Architects offer a wide range of services, not all of which may be appropriate for your particular project.  RTA will help you to decide which services will benefit you and your project best.

Your Priorities Come First

American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s supposed arrogance was legendary; some say he was more interested in advancing his “art” than creating homes based on his client’s wishes.  Is that your general impression of Architects?

If so, we’re about to burst your bubble – at RTA, we design homes based on what you want, not what we want you to have.  Of course we’re going to use all of our skills to give your project new and interesting ideas, unique character, loads of style, and value, but we never lose sight of the fact that this is your home, not ours.

So…what’s important to you on this project?  Are you looking for creative design solutions?  Is your heart set on a particular “Period” style?

Do you need something fast?  Something affordable?  Or are you willing to take some time to get the very best?  Will you search for a quality contractor or settle for the “low bidder”?   Or maybe you’re looking for the best overall value?

Is this a long-term project for you and your family or are you expecting to sell the house in a few years?  Is a “low-maintenance” house important to you?

Is an energy-efficient design critical?  Do you want your house to be as “green” and “sustainable” as possible? If so, how much effort will you invest to find appropriate products?

Technology plays an important role in new home projects today with media systems, security, and environmental management – how will it be integrated into your home?

We have a lot more questions like these for you – and we hope you have more than a few for us.  The answers will help us to create an appropriate package of services for you, and to design a project that’s truly yours.

Questions?

We expect that you have questions about our process, our services, and our experience. We look forward to answering them by phone at (614) 766-7257 – or email Richard Taylor, AIA at [email protected].

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