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Where do I begin?


Ask the Expert


It is not easy to know where the process should start if you have never built or remodeled your home.  Everyone you ask will have an opinion based on their own experience and point of view.

Some may even be helpful.


You can talk to a realtor who will tell you what buyers are looking for, what improvements add value to a home and maybe even some pitfalls to avoid.  But the house should be about YOU, not some imaginary future occupants.


A builder will usually just nod to anything you say and may help you assess what things will cost.  They are trained to say YES.  Architects are trained to ask WHY?


Often we hear that a prospective client is not ready to talk to an architect because they haven’t figured out exactly what they want.  Yet that is exactly what we are trained to do:  Help you figure out the best options to achieve your goals. We are guides, coaches and educators, not just designers.


Sometimes, we hear that a potential client does not feel they need an architect because they know exactly what they want, so a builder can take it from there.  Again, how does a client know exactly what they want if they don’t know all of the options?  Sorry, but in over 40 years of practice, I have not met a client who was in a position to be their own architect (though some, initially, thought otherwise).


As I have said to a client more than once, if you have seen a home that is exactly what you want, BUY IT.  You will not be able to replicate it for less and if it meets not only your needs but also your aspirations, by all means save yourself the time and cost of building your own version.  Custom home design is about creating unique environments that will enhance your personal living experience. That is what I specialize in!


The key is NOT TO START WITH A DESIGN!  First there needs to be an analysis of all of the key elements to figure out what to design:



  • Site Conditions

  • As-built of existing structures, if any

  • Amenities and Potential Impediments

  • Environmental Issues and Opportunities

  • Geotechnical Constraints

  • Zoning and Building Criteria

  • Planning and Neighborhood Regulations


The first step is to book your free 20 minute phone or Zoom consultation to discuss the process and, depending on the scope of your project, what the next step should be.  In most cases it is a Site Analysis and Project Feasibility Assessment.


This stand-alone, pre-design, report will give you the basic information needed to map out the rest of the project and will serve as the basis for the design and construction phases to follow regardless of who you select as your architect.


If you would like to download our complimentary Project Planning Pack prior to speaking with Jorge, please click here:




Click here to schedule your call:

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