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  • Writer's pictureBarry Shaw

Importance of the Initial Architect Process

Master Suite Retreat

There’s many more categories, steps and procedures to the Subject process than what a short blog can provide, but the following can serve as an overview. As well, each Architect will have their own tweak to this process, which will reflect the scale of the job, their experience, Client experience and expectations, budget, design criteria, schedule and site conditions.


Lets take as an example, a simple modest sized and common request from a homeowner: a Master Suite Addition.


Typically the initial contact is an inquiry from a property owner regarding a request for Architect services. A lot of homeowner’s wouldn’t have any experience with what’s needed for the process, so we provide them with an overview, as we did recently for couples in Niwot and Broomfield, Colorado. Part of the conversation is to evaluate what their timing is for the project, size of their family (and possibly future family members as well) estimated budget and considerations to maybe having to move out during construction.


Next step is to have a meeting with the homeowner’s at their home site to evaluate the existing conditions, discuss their objectives in more detail and have some time for both Parties to evaluate the synergy for a possible business relationship. During the walk-through I evaluate how the existing conditions could be improved with the new building addition.


For instance, if the washer and dryer are currently in the basement, I will design into the Second Story Addition a small compact stack washer dryer adjacent to the master closet area. This will save hundreds of unnecessary steps and carrying of laundry up and down two floors, notwithstanding valuable time that could be spent on other priorities. Another aspect I may notice is that the current small master bedroom doesn’t have access to an outdoor area. A Second Story Master Suite Addition, such as one we designed for Westminster, Colorado, can include a comfortable sized deck with possible view of the Rockies. As well, I recall noticing in a home in Gunbarrel, Colorado, that the existing master bedroom was grouped together on the same second floor with the other two bedrooms. Their kids were starting high school and both the parents and kids were ready for some ‘space’. This was an opportune time to design the new Master Suite on to the other side of the home, above the garage. Additionally, it was quite advantageous to utilize the existing footings to help support the new second story, along with adjunct helical piles.


These are just a few benefits of having an experienced home design Architect, right from the start. After the pertinent scope of work is procured, the Architect will convey this important design criteria, direction and coordination to his cad drafter. As the plans develop, BSA Inc. Design & Construction also provides our (35) years of experience as general contractors, with the most cost-effective layout for engineering considerations as well.


The above is an example of just a few crucial pre-design observations that we incorporate into a set of new architectural floor plans, to help optimize the homeowner’s comfort, functionality, efficiency and cost conscious responses into the plans.


Let us know what type of project you’re interested in having designed and we’ll provide you with a complimentary 30-60 minute project consultation.



Best Always!


Barry R. Shaw AIA, GC

BSA Inc. Design & Construction


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