Stay or Go?
Often a client will come to us not knowing whether it makes sense to stay in their present house and renovate it, or simply move on and find another house. These are complex choices, involving more than simply architectural issues. While we cannot help much with the emotional aspects of the equation, we can help quantify and rationalize the architectural issues. We begin by looking at the things about the present house that are frustrating the client and coming up with very diagrammatic architectural solutions, each with an estimate of probable cost. This allows the client to look at the spectrum of what they can get for what costs. We recommend that at the same time we are studying the present home, the client also work with a realtor to evaluate what they can get on the market for the same dollars. With this two-pronged approach the answers usually come into focus fairly quickly. In some cases the client decides to sell and our work is done; in others they decide to renovate, in which case we simply continue the design process that we have begun.
We also consult with homeowners who want to make energy upgrades but aren’t certain of what to do and how to prioritize. Our work can be simply a few hours of time meeting with the client and connecting them with good subcontractors. Or if the project is more involved and requires a general contractor and building permit, we will provide drawings and specifications as required.
Since we have become involved in Passive House work, we have begun providing consulting services to other architects who are interested in getting Passive House certification for their projects. Our first collaboration of this type involved a new Passive House in Maryland, working with Miche Booz Architects. That project was completed in May of 2014.