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Mary in PA's Journal Entries

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Posted by Mary in PA on 6/29/2009

On a cool rainy afternoon John and I met with architect #3 at his home/office. He lives in-town in an older, smallish house… and over many years he completely transformed the interior. Really, I can’t do it justice in a verbal description. In both creativity and craftsmanship the house was beautiful. He created useful, pleasant living spaces without having a massive interior space. We spent several hours there seeing his home and a few photos of his other work and discussing design philosophy and work strategy.


I liked that he was keen to work on smaller spaces, a smaller project. And he said that since he had done the work himself on his own house, he had a good feel for just what was required on construction drawings to really guide work on-site... without detailing things that were not required. He described himself as an architect who had years of hands-on experience in all phases of home construction. We reviewed his typical drawing package and John spent a good bit of time looking through a set of drawings. The Architect emphasized that he likes to be really efficient in his work and spend his time in design and drawing rather than being stuck in researching, emailing, and administrative paperwork. As a bit of a surprise, he is traditional in his approach to building techniques. I’m not sure how I feel about that – is that a good thing or not? For example he says that for the $ spent, a well constructed 2x6 instead of SIP or ICF is the way to go (in his opinion). While we’ve looked at ICF and are interested in it, we’re not married to a particular envelope technology and will likely look for good quality and good $ value.


I brought a little packet of info on our project: functions we needed in the house, target sq ft, topo maps noting best views & prevailing winds, and photocopies from books and magazines showing exterior styles that we liked, and a few that showed what we didn’t like. We didn’t discuss our project much during this meeting... it seemed more about him talking about his work and experience – which was fine. I left the packet of our project with him.


After the meeting, John and I discussed architect #3 vs. architect #2. I felt like I really hit it off personally with architect #2 (see previous post) and felt I would likely have more ‘fun’ working with her (based on the initial phone call). If budget were no issue, I likely would have pushed to at least meet with her and see where that went.


But this is the real world, right?


Architect #3 (the one we met with) seemed to have a good match between his typical scope of services and what we really need and can afford. And he had a proven record of designing, constructing and living in smaller spaces (e.g. his own home, under 2,000 sq. ft.). Since we want a smallish, well-designed house to meet our needs and fit the site - it seemed like a good fit. So, we decided to go with architect #3.


Now comes the fun part… Road Trip…SITE VISIT!

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