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We want to remodel our house in San Carlos and are looking for an architect. Any suggestions?

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May 27 2009 - San Carlos
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Working with an Architect is really the best way to start. It can open up a discussion and help you focus on making improvements that fit your lifestyle. Starting with a contractor can lead to less than optimal results -- that don't always match your needs. 
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July 06 2012
A good place to start is the American Institute of Architects 'Architect Finder' webpage. You can find those that specialize in residential remodeling. Another way to approach it is to ask local remodeling contractors for Architects that have a good reputation for remodeling design. You can find a local remodeling contractor at the National Home Builders[hotlink removed by Zillow moderator] webpage.
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June 26 2012
You will also need a licensed general contractor, give me a call for a referral free of charge no obligations.

Good luck!
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June 08 2012

There are a few avenues to choose from when looking to begin a remodeling project. Many homeowners will ask 2 questions up front - 1) What can I do....2) What will it cost? You can contact an Architect and have them meet to discuss your thoughts and ideas. Many Architects in San Diego that have experience in residential architecture will be helpful in helping you identify what can and cannot be done to your home regarding structure, codes, setbacks etc. Contractors are often helpful as they bring an element of design along with price scenarios to complete which is the other half or part 2 of the questions that homeowners have. Another option is to consult with a Design / Build firm that offers both design and cost suggestions. Many homeowners have a budget but don't know or understand what construction costs and a Design / Build company can design a project that fits many of the wants and needs into a budget that is comfortable for the homeowner. Many Architects, Building Contractors and Design / Build firms will consult with homeowners for the first meeting,  free of charge, to explain the types of service and value they can offer. In the end, this lets the homeowner weigh the best options that suit their needs.

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March 26 2012
The good news is that the San Francisco Bay Area has so many talented architects to choose from! Having a general idea of what you want will help you select an architect who is the right fit for your home improvement project.

A great place to find inspiration is: http://www.houzz.com/
It is like having stacks of home improvement and design magazines at your fingertips, only easier. You will likely discover your needs and desires by browsing through photos and creating idea books (like an online scrap book). You might even find an architect you like on houzz who share your design aesthetic. 

- Rhoda (for Bill Fry)
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March 24 2012
There are many ways to approach this process. I have found these to be quite successful.
I have worked with many clients who have a very good sense of what they would like to accomplish with their remodel. They have decided what size of space they need, what style and finishes of materials that they plan to use.
For this type of client I like to meet with them before they contact an Architect or designer. I can provide them with a budget based on the plan they have formulated. It is time well spent for the client, as they will have a sense of budget, schedule and limitations of their design before they contact an Architect or designer.
For someone who has a hard time visualizing the project, I will refer them to someone I feel they would be a good fit for them. The goal is to get to a point where you are able to get a real sense of cost for the project. That is the real bottom line in the process. Can I actually do the project based on my budget.
I feel it is very important to have a team to work with. Architect and Contractor.
I hope this information is helpful.
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July 07 2009
Depending on the extent of your remodel, you have many choices. First, I applaud you thinking first of an architect. Many homeowners simply call a contractor first and take whatever advice is given and go with it, his designer drawing the plans. Contractors are trained to build from approved plans, NOT to design. Still, if the remodel is very small and the design solution is obvious, that can work.

In a more major remodel, in the sense where the overall look and feel of the exterior is affected, or the interior space / plan will be considered, a design professional is a great first step. Many work closely with contractors, and so they can get you an idea on costs, buildability, etc. - but AFTER a few design ideas have been discussed.... this is properly putting the horse in front of the cart, so to speak. The level of design professional is where your options occur. Using an architect will always be best, contact the local chapter of the American Institute of Architects (do an internet search with your city), or go to AIA.org - for recommendations. The next level down would be someone who is a degreed professional in architecture who is not licensed, but experienced. In California (and most places) they can legally work on 1-4 unit residential projects, and some tenant improvement work, etc. where there are no life-safety issues involved (in other words, more standard projects, with an engineer's signature, etc., then their role can be expanded). This is often a less expensive way to go - but, as in most things in life - you get what you pay for. You'll want to see samples of work (more than references in this case) as a very important deciding factor. Also, a big issue is timing - you'll want someone that can finish in a reasonable time period, and who will work with you to accomplish your goals! Call me if you have any further questions. 
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July 05 2009
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June 19 2009
 
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