Maggie Maiers Architect

Frequently Asked Questions

The Architectural Process - It's Linear

Clients always ask: Where do we start? Sometimes it seems easier to select the tile for the countertop rather than figure out the kitchen layout. To me the architectural design process is linear. Certain specific questions need to be answered before moving on to the next design step, and so on. Trying to answer all the questions at one time can be overwhelming. Each step of the design process has unique concerns that need to be addressed at that step. By doing so, each question or concern can be the star and given the attention it deserves at the appropriate time. The design of the project flows smoothly and logically.

The Questions Architects Like To Ask Before Designing

What is the project?

The first question an architect wants to know is what the project is. When I know what the clients would like I can frame my questions to better understand what it is they want and how they would like to use the new space.

What city is it in?

Each city has their own unique way of processing building permits. I work mostly in Alameda and Oakland and am familiar with their requirements. This helps me better estimate the time needed to prepare the permit submittal documents that address the concerns of that city.

What is the cost for architectural services?

One question every client likes to ask is What is the cost for architectural services? After my initial consultation with a client at the site, I follow with a letter that outlines the proposed project and lists the steps included in the architectural services. The letter includes an hourly rate and an estimate of the total architectural fee based on similar projects.

Design Review Approval And Building Permits -
What's The Difference?

Every city has their own way of processing permits. There are usually two phases to approval, Design Review and Building Permit. Design Review is handled by the Planning Department and its requiements are unique to each city. The Building Permit is handled by the building department and each city enforces the same building codes. I always meet with the planning staff at the beginning of each job to get a full understanding of the specific requirements that may impact the design.