1. Do I really need an architect for my project?
Most residential projects can benefit from having a residential architect involved, even for a brief consultation. Given our experience with over 30 years of residential projects, we can advise you on creating optimal results with your construction budget and avoid costly mistakes due to lack of planning.
2. What styles do you work in?
Rather than superimpose a preconceived architectural style, we work with the design preferences and sensibilities of our clients. Our projects include “seamless” additions to classic homes, “period correct” renovations to homes ranging from the early 1900’s to mid-centry modern. We have designed new homes in a variety of architectural styles ranging from "ultra contemporary" to classic architectural styles such as "Colonial Revival”, “Shingle Style”, and “Craftsman".
3. What about modular construction?
Given an appropriate site and the right design, there can be notable cost and time savings by utilizing modular construction. For over 20 years we have partnered with Timberland Homes, an Auburn, WA modular home builder. With Timberland, we have designed homes for mountain, coastal, and in-city locations. There can be some confusion on the differences between modular and manufactured homes. Modular homes are designed for a specific site and are built to the same building codes as a site-built home. The advantage of modular construction is that the site work, foundation, and utilities can be constructed simultaneously while the home is constructed off-site. Modular homes are delivered on flat bed trailers and are permanently attached to a foundation. Manufactured homes (also known as mobile homes) are constructed to a HUD code, have a steel chassis with wheels and tires, are are towed to the site. Some jurisdictions have zoning restrictions on manufactured homes. Given our experience with modular and site-built construction, we can advise you if modular construction is a viable option for your project.
4. What are your design fees?
This is a complex question, since each client has unique requirements and a specific construction budget to work with. Rather than a “one size fits all” approach, our services are tailored to your needs. Some clients may need an hour or two of consulting, where other clients will need detailed construction documents for obtaining a building permit. We work on an hourly (time and material) basis. Once the scope of your project is defined, we can provide you with a “ballpark” estimate of design fees. For planning purposes, it is realistic to budget 6% to 10% of the construction cost (before sales tax) to cover design fees.
5. How do we get started?
Feel free to contact me if you are considering an addition and/or remodel to your current home or if you are considering building a new home. We can schedule a discussion covering your goals, anticipated construction budget, construction timetable, and if you have pre-selected a contractor. This discussion can happen by phone, email, or in person. There is no charge or obligation for this discussion. If we choose to work together, we have a second meeting (at no charge) to outline the scope of the project and extent of design services, then draw up an agreement for design services.
"I am happy to report that working with Leo Smith, architect, over the last several years, has been a bright spot. Leo is fun, fair, deliberate, efficient and realistic in his approach to project budgets and design solutions. I recommend Leo without hesitation."
- Steve Zeasman,
"Leo Smith planned very livable spaces for our new house construction. He visited periodically to observe different stages of the project, and was always open, informative and flexible to make changes for reasonable requests."
“Thank You! We love what you came up with- great design.”
- D.K., Pullman, WA
"Leo Smith Architects created a design for our modern master suite addition that was exactly what we had hoped for inside and out, designing a space that reflected our personality and living style. We appreciate Leo's ability to balance budget boundaries and our lofty desires. He is a joy to work with and we continually refer him to all our friends looking for an architect."
- Barkers, Seattle
“Thanks so much. We really love our new garage- beautiful with lots of compliments.”
- A.T., Seattle