So, why should you hire an architect? Part 1 of 5 by Brian Kossen

Being around or in the construction industry one way or the other most of my life did notprepare me for the shock I received when I finally realized a lot of people do not know what architects do or when it is beneficial to hire them.  Two things happened this last week that brought me to this revelation.

1. Our 23 year old niece asked “What makes you qualified to do that?” when she witnessed us selecting materials for a custom home project.

2. Our marketing person said, “An architect may not be well versed in design”. He was making the point that our firm is a design firm and we want to be sure and showcase that on our new website but still, if that is the impression of architects, it’s not positive.

So here are five reasons to hire an architect, there are more but I will stop here. With all the construction going on in Hawaii, I sure wish more people understood the difference between design and building. Our neighborhoods and property values would benefit from more focus on the design aspect of each project.

 Your Advocate

An architect has a fiduciary duty to look out for your best interest and is your advocate in the design and construction process. In brief, an Architect:

Listening to what you want:

  • This cannot be emphasized enough, it is your project, if your team is not hearing you then you should consider another team.

Pulls together:

  • Functionality
  • Structural needs
  • Circulation requirements, this includes flow of people and tasks as well as air flow
  • Orientation, maximized for the site and microclimate
  • Aesthetic considerations of your likes and dislikes as well as the neighborhood

The above list is designed into a unified whole.  Wouldn’t it be great to have a professional dedicated to the highest standards of integrity, and competence helping you through it?

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     (Major Renovation of Existing House. Honolulu)

(Major Renovation of Existing House. Honolulu)

Happy New Year by Brian Kossen

New Years is always a great time to recap the previous year and project intentions for the new year. 2013 was an interesting year with many re-starts of projects that had been put on hold by various clients due to the economy, finances or simply schedule. This included both larger and smaller projects and developments. As 2013 was winding down, we began getting a lot of calls from clients who wanted to start planning for some significant projects in 2014. November and December is typically not the time of year that we get these calls so this was very interesting.

Residential clients seem to be clustering in 3 camps for going into 2014:

Holding onto the family house but wanting to modernize, expand and improve the home with major renovation and additions.
Wanting an upgrade to their home but not finding what they want in the marketplace so they are contacting us for a new custom home built to their dreams and goals.
Savy shoppers are finding great existing homes with “good bones.” These clients are contacting us for assistance in customizing the home to their needs and their lifestyle.

We are also seeing another interesting trend with our residential clients regarding materials, fixtures, and furnishings:

Some clients are wanting full-services, meaning Green Sand selects all materials, appliances, light fixtures etc. and submits to the client for approval.
Other clients are saying they love to shop and would like to select materials, appliances, light fixtures themselves. In this case the role is somewhat reversed and the client asks Green Sand for our professional opinion. Many times this involves shopping trips with the client with is fun.

On the commercial side, it appears that it is a good time to open multiple stores. While on the development end of the business projects are heating up. Finally, despite Government sequestering, we continue to have a steady stream of Federal work.