FAQs

How is Simply Architecture different from other firms?

Simply Architecture supports our clients by providing step-by-step guidance through the design process. We explain each step thoroughly so that our clients are able to make informed decisions about their projects. We believe every client and every project is important and deserves specialized attention.

Why should I hire Simply Architecture?

When you hire our firm, you will receive the specialized attention and the care that a small firm can provide. The designer working on your project will be a Registered Architect, who will plan, design and review your project throughout the construction process.

As your Architect our job is to protect you. We resolve your needs, we understand the requirements of laws and codes, we ensure that the project is constructed the way it was envisioned and designed and we act as your voice to convey your wishes to the Contractor, making sure they honor the legal agreement they have with you.

What services does your firm provide?

We specialize in full-service residential design and commercial and tenant renovations ranging from conceptual design to construction documents and construction administration in Texas. We provide both Architectural and Interior Design solutions for your project.

What does "full-service" Architecture mean?

Full-service architecture involves the Architect and their design team managing your entire project, from initial concept through construction and occupancy. It includes the Preliminary Design, Schematic Design, Design Development, Basic Interior Design, Engineering Consultants, Construction Documents, Bidding/Permitting, Basic Construction Administration and the Certificate of Occupancy. 

 

Full-service design has many benefits. The final result is more cohesive, the time and energy the client spends is reduced, the client has one point of contact for the entire design team and the client usually saves on costs related to the project.

We highly recommend selecting the full-service option for your project, especially if it is the first time you have decided to build a custom home.

What are your fees for Residential Architecture?

After our initial meeting, we will prepare and send a written proposal which provides more detail about our process and further explains our fees.

Simply Architecture works on an hourly basis in the Preliminary and Design Development phases, as well as for our Additional Services. We also require a Professional Service Retainer prior to the beginning of each phase. We find that working hourly and providing an estimated number of hours for meetings and presentations and a maximum of three design solutions/revisions per phase gives our clients peace of mind. If these hours are at risk of being exceeded the client will be notified, and the Architect will only proceed with the work after the client has issued their approval. As the project progresses we will move to a fixed-fee based on a percentage of Opinion of Probable Cost.

Hourly Fees - $125.00 per hour

Additional Services - $125.00 per hour

Architectural Fees Based on a Percentage of Construction Cost - 12% - 25%

We will provide an Opinion of Probable Cost when the design solution has been attained and prior to beginning the Construction Documents phase and the compensation for architectural fees will convert to a percentage based fixed-fee. The Opinion of Probable Cost is not to be confused with the Construction Cost, which can only be issued after a General Contractor's bid has been accepted by the client. If the client requests any changes during the Construction Documents phase that radically changes the scope of the project and/or the contractual drawings, these changes will be charged at our hourly rate. 

 

This percentage based fee will not change as long as the scope of the project does not change. If the client authorizes changes that increase the cost of construction, or if the construction cost is more than the probable cost, the architectural fees will be adjusted as well. The fee will also be adjusted for any decrease in construction cost. We believe this is a fair way to structure our fees for our clients as well as for our firm.

What if I have a smaller residential project?

This same fee structure is easily applied to smaller projects. Every project is different and we work with each client to prepare a unique proposal for their project. We are accustomed to working with clients that require less than our full range of services, and that is perfectly fine.

I already have drawings, can the Architect seal them for me? Can Simply Architecture handle my permitting needs?

Architects are legally liable for anything they sign and seal, and as such we are not able to seal any residential or commercial design drawings that we have not personally compiled, such as drawings completed by another Architect, designer or draftsperson. However, if you have a floor plan of a home that you like, we can work with you to develop those drawings and provide a Construction Documents set for your use.

We can help in filing a permit for your project, however we only provide this service when we design and manage the project.

If you would like to read further on this subject please see our blog titled "Can You Sign & Seal My Drawings?"

What is the difference between Architecture & Interior Design?

While both Architects and Interior Designers work on many different types of buildings, the main difference is that Architects can provide designs for both the interior and exterior aspects of a building. Architecture is a highly regulated field and Architects must design structures that maintain the health, safety and welfare of the occupants. They are trained to have strong logical thinking in order to provide sound structures, have expertise in understanding spatial relationships within a building and can provide services that aid in the project management and construction of a building.

 

Interior Designers, can only design within an already established interior space and cannot aid in modifying the structure of a building or any of its exterior aspects, such as windows, doors, roofing, landscaping, exterior renovations, etc.

Architects and Interior Designers are not to be confused with interior decorators. Interior decorators focus on the selection of decor, soft goods (pillows, blankets, rugs, etc.), furnishings, window treatments and paint colors and are not trained or licensed to provide the same services as Architects and Interior Designers. 

 

Simply Architecture can provide both Architectural and Interior Design solutions, as our Principal Architect has had extensive exposure to both aspects. This expertise allows her to further aid our residential and small commercial clients.

Architects are trained professionals, and Texas requires licensure and registration with the state board. As a potential client we advise you to ask for proof of licensure from all professionals that you decide to consider for your project.

Have a question? Feel free to contact us!