Questions and Answers

Common Questions And Answers:

Do I need a contractor?
Not everyone needs a general contractor, however a great deal depends on the expertise and time available to the homeowner. Unless you have the time and the experience, this option can create more problems than it resolves. Most people do this to save money, but what most people forget about is that this savings in money will cost in time spent on the job managing the work, keeping track of the subcontractors and paying for what you are really getting. Overpayments can often lead to incomplete projects or disagreements about charges and incomplete work may cause the project to go well over budget before these problems are resolved.

Why do I need an Architect?
Considering the initial expense, the importance of the project and the potential for problems, it makes sense to work with someone who has the appropriate experience and can offer a personal service that is not connected with the builder. Many times the savings produced by good planning will easily pay for potential mistakes that can take place during the building process. If I am hired by the homeowner, my allegiance is to the best interest of the homeowner, not to anyone else.

How do I select a contractor?
This will depend on the individual and the building market, but it is vital that the type of project and client be matched appropriately with the contractor. If you have not yet selected a contractor or have not had plans completed, I will share with you ways to locate the appropriate professionals for each task. If you desire, I will even assist you with establishing the terms of the contract. Signing a contract that protects you and provides for all major contingency events is vital. Without a good contract AND a good contractor, the project starts out with a higher potential for costly problems.

Contractors and suppliers can be located through various referral networks. The following are a suggested starting point:

What about city codes and city permits?
Questions regarding building permits can only be answered when considering each project, however, the City of Austin does answer many of these questions on its web site and city planners are available by telephone and in person to answer questions for you. The City of Austin was the model city in writing and adopting the new codes now coming into effect across the country. These new codes include several changes regarding energy efficiency and selection of materials, foundation inspections and other requirements that apply to the remodeling of older homes.

What are specifications & why are they important?
Specifications are written documents that explains many parts of the final plans in words that are not always described as well in the drawings. The plans AND the specifications together form the basics of a complete set of contract documents. A more complete description of the contents and the meaning of the terms found in the specifications can be found at our Specifications page. These documents are important because they form the core of the requirements for the construction project that will be used in the final contract for construction.

Other Questions?
Just call (512) 892-1977. If I do not know the answer I will try to refer you to someone who does. If you prefer to send e-mail, just use the form to the right.