What we offer

Architecture, Interior Design, Planning, Design, Home planing, AdditionsHere, we offer plans, help and advice about architecture, interior design and planning. We will answer basic quesitons for free so don't hesitate to send them.Our business is architecture, planning, interior design, and construction. We have offices in Italy and Southern California.We also offer drafting and 3D renderings to professionals. We work hourly or by fixed fee. Tell us about your project. Contact us: hmarch@hotmail.com and visit our main website http://www.hm-architects.com/

People Props for VectorworksVECTORWORKS PEOPLE PROPS A collection of props for Vectorworks using pictures of real people. To use them just load the file and select the symbol to place it in your drawing. Props take up very little file space and they always face the rendered view. To purchase them click on the links below. Use just a few of them once and the savings in time over making your own pays for them and you can use them as many times as you like. See a short video here: http://youtu.be/TfbmgxU8dJ0 NOTE: It is also available for previous versions of VW, let us know which one you need. Click on the purchase link and have People Props to use in minutes.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Who Needs An Architect?

The architect is one of the last generalists in the professions. His training generally includes an overall view of all the trades and professions connected to the planning, design and construction of our built environment. The architect’s education in the United States for example is relatively long and rigorous consisting of either a 5 year bachelors or 6 year masters degree. That is followed by 3 years of internship and then several days of exams in all the fields. So he or she is in a unique position to give advice and consultation in a variety of areas. This is what distinguishes the architect from for example the contractor-builder, building designer, the engineer or the interior designer, all of whom are focused on their more specific areas of expertise. In fact in the management of the overall project the architect will call upon the expertise of others as soon as he realizes the need for them. And it is his overall view that allows him to know when that need arises.

So no matter the size of the project the architect is able to see the overall picture. The well educated and experienced architect will consider all the pieces of the building puzzle from the flow and relationships of spaces to the soundness of the structure and the environmental impact of the construction process and finished building.
This overall view can make a huge difference in the functionality, cost and lifespan of any project from the small remodel to the skyscraper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

We can help you wherever you are

Working with a non local architect

The idea of offering a service to people who need architectural services for small projects but are not in our local area occurred to me some time ago. We were helping my partner’s brother with a room addition and remodel for a home he just purchased. The home is on the East coast of Canada and we were in Southern California at the time. The project worked out so well that decided it must be a good service to offer to others.

Here’s how it worked. The client, in this case a family member, took pictures of his house. He made a rough sketch with dimensions that he took himself. Then he told us what he wanted to add to the house, the problems with the house as it existed and some ideas he had for changes. Now, my partner and I have a combined experience working with clients in all areas of housing of close to 50 years, so it’s very easy for us to understand the needs of a client. It’s also easy to determine how to solve problems, revise the plan of a home and make additions. So in this case we quickly made two or three sketches of possible plans and a list of ideas. These were emailed to the client. He then sent back to us his own ideas and some preliminary decisions about which of our ideas he liked the best. From this we were able to make a semi final plan sketch. This again was emailed to the client, then sent back his final comments. From these revised sketches we prepared a simple set of construction drawings. The drawings were sent back to the client who toke the to a few local contractors to get preliminary bids. At the same time he was able to find a local structural engineer to finalize the drawings for local codes and get a building permit.

You might be asking yourself what is the advantages in doing a project this way. There are many. In this case of course working with a close relative lent a large amount of confidence to the client in knowing that the project would be done well. But for all clients, the ability to hire an architect with a large amount of experience and a good reputation can be very costly and time consuming. By working over the internet and minimizing the time we have to spend on a project our fees can be minimized while the client at the same time has the advantage of the services of a highly qualified professional. Once the design is finalized the client can use the services of less qualified and therefore less expensive locals to finish the job and get the required permits. In fact many times one can go directly to the contractor/builder with a finalized design and he can take it from there.

There are other alternatives as well. For example one may have some ideas or a sketch of what one wants to add to ones home. An experienced architect can take that sketch and in a short time revise it and or point out the problems with it. This could be a tremendous time savings and a potential prevention of future problems. Using the internet we can also provide that service in an economical way. For a fixed fee or hourly charges we can take the plan ideas of the client improve them, or determine that they are fine as is giving the client confidence to proceed and take the sketches to a local drafting service for final drawings.

The truth of the matter is the legally in most areas plans for room additions and even whole houses do not have to be prepared by a licensed architect. There are many drafting services offering this service and much lower fees than the architect can charge. But going directly to these services is dangerous as far as the final result of the design is concerned. There is much that goes into the design of a home that can only be done properly by a true professional. So in most cases the design of a complete new home should be done by an experienced and licensed architect. But what about the room addition or remodel? In many if not most cases the architects with the proper amount of experience are too busy for such little projects or too expensive. That’s were we think this service of helping the client with their small projects over the internet and getting their ideas into a format that can then be taken on by a local drafting service or engineer comes in.