Value & Quality
Hiring us will save you money! Yes, you are paying us for lines and words on paper, but you are also paying us for our expertise and creativity. Rather than a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach so sadly common in the building industry, we look for both short and long term, project-specific, money-saving opportunities at every turn. Whether it be with a design layout that takes full advantage of the site’s topography, sun orientation, and wind direction, or an efficient organization of spaces that saves on wasted square-footage, or energy-efficient details and equipment, or high quality products and finishes that stand the test of time, the money you pay us will reward you ten-fold! Also, having us involved in the construction process, keeps contractors on track and ensures that you get everything you paid for.
A proper process allows for decisions to be made wisely and prudently under ideal conditions. It maximizes function and aesthetics. It also saves time and money. In short, it gives the client “the biggest bang for their buck!” For most projects, the process consists of five phases: Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Documents, Bidding and Negotiation, and Construction Administration. This approach is widely recognized and accepted to be the best method for ensuring a successful project. However, in some circumstances, other approaches may be more applicable. In such cases, we would be happy to suggest alternative courses of action. The process is fun and exciting and allows for organic, fulfilling solutions to any given design challenge.
Codes & Regulations
Just about any building project involves some level of regulatory oversight. Depending on the project, this will include varying degrees of zoning, sanitation, inland wetlands, flood, accessibility, and building and fire code compliance. Most of these regulations and codes have been established for good reasons and are logical and sensible. However, some tend to be onerous and misguided. Whatever the case, the trend is most certainly toward increasing content and complexity. Navigating this environment can be tricky and challenging. The good news is that we work very well with the various local, regional, and state officials, boards, and commissions. Why? Because we continue to stay on top of changing codes and regulations; we do our homework; we think strategically; and we operate out of respect and appreciation for all the folks who are carrying out this difficult yet important work.
To conduct our work, clients must trust us with information regarding project financials, functional and aesthetic needs and desires, and business or family logistics. We understand and appreciate what it takes to place trust in something, especially when significant money is on the line, and therefore, we take our mission very seriously. Clients must also trust that we are as advertised, and therefore, we earn our reputation with each and every project offering comprehensive, responsive services second to none. Trust also extends to the process. Clients must trust that the process will lead them to where they want to be. Trust also extends to the larger design and construction team. Our consultants and preferred contractors are carefully selected for their long-standing professionalism, honesty, skill, efficiency, responsiveness, fairness, and value.
This is a growing trend for both residential and commercial projects. Many people are opting for this ‘turn-key’ approach because it shortens the overall schedule, provides a more accurate gauge of cost earlier in the design process, ensures a more seamless, high quality outcome, and reduces much of the stress often associated with the design and building process. We are happy to offer this approach with our stellar team: Morrissey Engineering (Structural), GNCB Consulting Engineers (Structural and Geotechnical), CES – Consulting Engineering Services (MEP), Nathan L. Jacobson & Associates (Civil Engineers), Oxford Builders (General Contractor), Rick Brauchler Jr. & Company (General Contractor), Covenant Kitchens & Baths (Millworker), and Maple Tree Cabinetmakers (Millworker).
A positive team spirit is an important ingredient of the process. From the beginning, the client and architect must view themselves as part of a unified team working seamlessly together to reach the same goal – the best possible outcome for any set of givens. The team may include design consultants such as structural, MEP, or civil engineers, but soon grows to include the general contractor and their subcontractors as well as industry representatives and government regulators. Only in a cooperative, supportive, respectful spirit can a project be truly successful. We do everything in our power to promote and maintain this spirit throughout each and every project. After all, it’s not just the destination that matters, it’s also the journey.
Planning & Landscape Design
Our passion and talent for design extends into Planning and Landscape Design as well. Planning consists of a more comprehensive study and analysis of the ‘Big Picture.’ For most projects, this often takes the form of a Master Plan. A Master Plan is an overall, schematic look at the long-term potential of a given property as a whole and may include any combination of renovated spaces, additions, new buildings, landscaping, driveways, parking, walkways, gathering areas, specialty features, etc. The Master Plan provides basic layouts and parameters, associated general descriptions and costs, and logical phasing opportunities. A Master Plan is often a good first step for a client who has a long-term view of their property ownership, but where their short-term interest is in one or more specific high-priority projects. In any case, when working on specific projects, our clients often desire the incorporation of landscape design to ‘complete’ the scheme. We have a particular love for landscape design when properly planned and organized to marry beautifully with the architecture and surrounding environment. On occasion, when more expertise is needed, we have a wonderful landscape consultant who stands ready to serve any client desire.
Our passion and talent for design extends way beyond what most people understand to be typical, standard architectural services into all aspects of interior design. As part of our basic services on every project, we get into everything that is ‘fixed’ which encompasses floor, wall, and ceiling finishes of all types including paint colors, wall coverings, upholstery, and specialty glass, metal, stone, wood, and composite products, as well as light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, appliances, equipment, built-in cabinetry, countertops, hardware, and much, much more. And we often get into potential furniture layouts to assist the client in better understanding the size, proportions, and use of various spaces. And should the client need additional assistance with the ‘non-fixed’ elements of interior design such as artwork, window treatments, furniture, rugs, and general décor, we can provide this service as well. John Schroeder is a Registered Interior Designer and Art Consultant. Lisa Schroeder is an NCIDQ Certified Interior Designer with extensive experience in Residential, Commercial, and Health Care design.