Just add water: architecture startups!

Dating & Commitments
July 29, 2013, 2:00 pm
Filed under: Startup

Over the last two days, I’ve been sitting here (over)thinking about how to structure the fee for a project.   There are so many components involved in design services, especially with high end residential.  All the basics that you learned early on: program, budget, schedule, review process etc can be itemized and estimated in time by their scope of work.  There are rule of thumb estimates on “X” hrs for each page of drawings required, basic outline of # of meetings/presentations, etc.  There’s numerous ways to try and calculate your design fee …what’s not accounted for are how crazy are the clients?  How literate are they with reading drawings (ie: do you literally have to point to what a door looks like in the plan and “walk” them through the basics)?  How well are they able to express/communicate with what they want/like/dislike?  Are they cohesive (if you’re dealing with a couple, it can sometimes feel like you’re a referee or even worse, a psychologist)?   All of this becomes almost as important as doing the work itself.

In some regards, the ideal scenario would be like a ‘dating’ period in schematic design that doesn’t hold you down to a fixed fee since you have no idea what those other variables will be until you’re already committed.




Whiff of Construction Administration
July 14, 2013, 12:05 am
Filed under: Side show

Not sure I’d want my house to smell like sawdust and sweat, but turns out someone thought this candle scent was a good idea!2x4

Mobile office
July 8, 2013, 6:07 pm
Filed under: Startup

mobile officeIn the last year, I’ve taken on projects wherever I could get them…Virginia, Florida,New York.   It wasn’t so much as a conscious decision/business model as much as it was a general carpet bomb marketing approach.  I spent a lot of my resources on airplane tkts instead of an ‘office.’

One critical issue to a mobile office is simplicity.  Packing as light as possible. I realized simply having a laptop,wifi and a cell phone proved to be enough of an ‘office’ as I needed.  Most building codes are online.  Product manufacturers tend to be more up-to-date with their product literature on their websites than in those dusty old binders lined up on my bookshelf.   Embracing new apps on my iphone also helped. A few apps that kept me sane were:

  • Evernote (free!): organizes pdfs and digital files for projects
  • TurboScan ($1.99): uses your camera phone to create multipage documents (for receipts, site notes, etc)
  • Arch Record CEU: free continuing ed classes while you’re stuck in the airport!

What’re you guys using to keep light?

bizn’ss cards
July 5, 2013, 3:22 pm
Filed under: Startup


After much delay, finally got around to making business cards.   There are a lot of great inexpensive options out there to print your own custom business cards.  This website even gives tips on starting your own business.  http://us.moo.com/ideas/expert-tips.html

If you also end up using moos, this year they’re running a 10% discount. Plug in this promo code: FRXDG2W