Dan Joseph Architects – New Office Location

DJA_Tetons_II

Dan Joseph Architects – New Office Location  #djawest

Due to increased client demand Dan Joseph Architects announces the opening of their newest office now located in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Professional Services are available throughout the Western Region ranging from Whitefish & Big Sky, Montana; to Jackson & the Star Valley areas of Wyoming.

Dan Joseph Architects, LLC
PO Box 12770
Jackson Hole, Wyoming  83002

(307) 733.3735 – (800) 800.3935

Dan Joseph + Associates Master Builder

blueprint for construction work with helmet and tools

Dan Joseph + Associates
Master Builder

Dan Joseph Architects now offers Master Builder Services.

Question:  What is a Master Builder?

Answer:  A Master Builder is a career path and chosen profession where real time construction experience is augmented with formal education, rigorous examination and licensure.

Within one person there exists the following capacity.

  1. Design Responsibility – Including deep artistic abilities, design knowledge, drawing skills and an intrinsic understanding of people, environment and dwellings; a formal structured education for shaping and constructing all elements of the built response (including buildings, parts of buildings, landscaping and the urban environment).
  2. Responsibility for Construction – Expert knowledge of construction as obtained from higher education, examination and actual construction experience, on-site project management (involving leadership, organization, supervising workers, financial oversight and artistic discernment).
  3. Complete and total authority on the Building Site – Authority over all on-site activities including design, construction decisions; authority over all workers and unquestioned authority over the entire construction phase from start to finish.

Master Builders greatly differ from today’s Architect or Contractor; in breadth, scope and depth of responsibility.  Today’s Master Builder is a licensed, fully insured Architect who has practiced and thrived in the public arena of a competitive, bid-build industry.

Question:  Why has Dan Joseph Architects elected to offer Design-Build Services as Dan Joseph + Associates, Master Builder?

Answer:  The continued practice of allocating various portions of responsibility separately to Architects and Contractors can no longer be debated as the most practical or cost effective method of project delivery.

Summarizing, placing sole project responsibility in the hands of an ethical, effective, experienced and fully transparent Master Builder, consolidates accountability, preserves integrity and will result in the best solution for the least cost.

At Dan Joseph + Associates we have chosen our career path as that of a Master Builder; we are highly educated in our discipline, have been subjected to rigorous testing and licensing requirements, and have thrived in a open market of a competitive bid-build practice.

Give Dan Joseph + Associates a call…or feel free to visit us in Big Sky, Montana; we offer innovative solutions, are always an Owner’s advocate and welcome the opportunity to assist you with your future Architecture and Construction needs. #djawest

Dan Joseph + Associates, LLC
PO Box 12770
Jackson, Wyoming  83002

Ph 307.733.3735

Dan Joseph Architects – It’s in My Nature

DJA_HWC

It’s in My Nature #djawest

Remaining faithful to nature and thus to a greater truth is organic architecture’s yardstick.  Organic architecture should begin and evolve naturally; allowing buildings to emerge from the ground with a sense of belonging.  Nothing is arbitrary, but rather a natural harmony or rhythm as opposed to something strained.

These attributes have also defined my career of assisting clients and companies; refining goals and achieving aspirations alike.  Rare and uniquely qualified, I am a multi-talented and broadly experienced Architect and Construction Administrator; naturally evolving within a challenging and demanding profession.

Beginning as a competitive Bid-Build Contractor, I founded one of the top Contracting firms in the nation. It was during this period that I recognized knowing how to build was a matter of science and technology that often times calls into question ethics and aesthetic responsibility.  Equipped with this knowledge, my desire has been to empower Owner’s from a critical, responsible and fully informed perspective.

I truly enjoy the practice of Architecture.  Applying a comprehensive understanding of the built environment with a professional and artistic response, I design and create unique solutions including structures, relationships and results that are deserving of your consideration.

Specialties: Architecture, Engineering & Construction (AEC) as a “Single Point of Contact Service.”
Award Winning Master Planning & Design
Dependable Cost Analysis
Owner’s Project Representation

Dan Joseph Architects, LLC
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Djawest.com

 

Selecting a Site and Getting to Know an Architect

Selecting a Site and Getting to Know an Architect

Eagle Rock Reserve, Bozeman, Montana

SELECTING A SITE AND GETTING TO KNOW AN ARCHITECT:  You have just purchased the place of your dreams, the views are spectacular and the possibilities seem endless. You want to protect your investment and to fully realize your hopes and aspirations. Perhaps you are ready to hire an architect….but which one, why and what kind of service should you expect? While I could write an entire book on this topic alone, I’ll begin by hitting upon just a few key points; helping you along in a process that may otherwise seem intimidating.

Asking that an architect walk a parcel or two before your final purchase is perhaps one of the most overlooked opportunities that I know of. A casual stroll over a plot of land allows you to measure a number of variables: the architect’s temperament, personality, competency, communication skills, artistic vision, passion, respect for place and a holistic, educated, informed opinion about location; helping you to arrive at that next level of decision.

For larger tracts of land (multiple acres), the best opinions will generally come a few days later; after the many possibilities have had a chance to cook….or reduce to the essence of place. If available, be prepared to offer a topographic plot of the parcel or an aerial illustrating property boundaries, adjacent improvements, etc. before walking the land.

HOW TO COMMUNICATE YOUR WANTS

Architecture is technical competency expressed as art. Competency alone will not guarantee you of a successful solution; however an artistic professional may very well achieve something remarkable. Look for passion, sensitivity, reservation, a quiet soul that will allow themselves to be absorbed by the intangibles. When expressing your project to an architect….think about how a radio works. In other words when discussing a vernacular or architectural vocabulary, dial in on the channel you would like to hear…say Modern Mountain, Western Rustic, Post & Beam, Craftsman, perhaps a mix of two or more and so on. Then think about volume, how loud would you like to hear the music? Just like the volume knob on a radio, you can turn up or down the variables of design and character to suit personal taste and budget.

YOUR ROLE IN THE PROCESS

Once you have decided on which architect to hire, execute your understanding of fees and services with a Standard AIA Owner-Architect Agreement. AIA Agreements have withstood the test of time, are impartial and have proven to be the best document available for defining the obligations of both parties. Have your attorney review the agreement before endorsing the final contract.

Before beginning the first phase of activities with your architect, have a topographic survey for your parcel prepared at 1’-0” increments and anything else your architect may request. Such surveys should include easements, setbacks, utilities, building envelopes, compass bearings of near and distant views, improvements and alike noted and illustrated plainly on the document. You’ll want a “boots on the ground” survey, commonly referred to as a field survey. Do not trust aerials as a sufficient tool for understanding much of anything; other then a rough idea of the property lines. Now is not the time to save a few bucks and an inaccurate survey can cost you big time later on. Do not expect your architect to provide survey services, the liability associated with this practical need cannot be justified.

If you haven’t already ordered a geological survey of the bearing capacity and underlying geology of the site before purchasing the parcel, then you will need to under take this task next. Your architect will want to understand the particulars of the proposed building envelopes and the required built solution response to each unique location. The idea is to avoid differential settlement and perhaps if located in mountainous terrain, the avoidance of below grade obstructions, etc. Again, do not expect your architect to provide this need to service. However in each case (surveys and geotechnical reports), your architect can be helpful by providing you with reputable companies, approximated costs and contact information.

THE BUILT RESPONSE

Early on you will want to consider how to manage the built response. Because the many advantages…Design-Build has exponentially become one of the most desired methods for project delivery. Design-Build is by where the architect will contractually provide all services; from concept to completion. Often times the architect will engage a pre-qualified general contractor and provide as “Single Source” accountable, professional services, construction management, project budgets, allowances, progress review and delivery of the final product. As always exercise good judgment; not all architects will be qualified as capable in delivering this level of service. Discuss your architects experience, capacity and understanding of the process. (please see Design-Build link below)

The alternative to Design-Build will be to engage for the built response directly with a reputable general contractor; the architect in return would be designated as the projects construction administrator. Under this type arrangement each entity will report to you directly for the services provided. Again AIA Standard Agreements are available for your use. Either way, insist that budgets be respected and quantified for each level of the evolving design.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE TASKING

Each architect will possess their own way of tasking through schematic design and design development; however each will need to gather the stats: budget, site improvements, square-footage, programming, captured views, building vocabulary, etc. Sketch renderings of elevations and floor plans will assist you with understanding that the tones of the architect’s intention, are demonstrating a working comprehension of your preferences.

Design Development is generally your last chance to direct changes before entering into the preparation of the Construction Documents. Construction Documents are the blueprints of your final built solution. It is the responsibility of the architect to provide all consulting services (structural engineering, civil engineering, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, geothermal, specialty and alike), necessary in the preparation of the construction document. I prefer that consulting fees be separate from the architects, so that when comparing services of another, it is plainly evident what the costs are. Afterwards, a competitive solicitation of supporting services can be shared with you and a simple overhead and profit margin applied upon the final selection. Final selection of consulting service can be made under a joint review performed by owner and architect alike, with preference given to the best qualified respondent. The owner should yield to the architect’s qualified and professional judgment; however the architect must be prepared to make the case as to why or why not a particular consultant is to be considered. An owner should never engage consulting service directly and will be discussed further under “Chain of Accountability”.

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

The architects Construction Documents (Con Doc) must be sufficiently detailed as to help avoid Change Order extras that may arise in the absence of ones ability to quantify all work entailed. Missing detail is often the reason for escalating project costs and with some effort during the architect’s Con Doc phase of service, building costs can be held in check. Elaborating, while there is no one formula on how much architectural detailing will be enough….too little often means more profit for the architect and a built solution that will be delivered at a premium cost to you.

ACCOUNTABILITY

Now let’s talk ‘Chain of Accountability”…far too often over zealous owners and builders alike are quick to allow changes with substitutions of materials, inferior standards, means, methods or in other words to compromise performance and safety criteria of an approved and specified requirement, for a perceived savings. The very moment of this occurrence, a snowball effect of liability is placed upon the shoulders of the party breaching the architects approved standard. Some changes may result in nothing more then a cosmetic difference, while others could result in catastrophic failure, exponential cost in remedy, or in a worse case scenario…loss of life. Maintain a Chain of Accountability for which the architect is insured. If a change is desired, discuss it with your architect and have a Change Order (add or deduct) issued for the want. This process will keep everyone accountable, informed and most of all protected.

As always Dan Joseph Architects http://www.djawest.com/ is ready to serve your needs; give me a call….I would enjoy meeting you, walking the site and discussing my process of bringing you the best in Professional Services.

POINTS TO REMEMBER

1. Asking an Architect to walk your parcel(s) will help with understanding the potential of multiple locations, while also providing some feed-back regarding the Architect themselves.

2. Architecture is technical competency expressed as art. Competency alone will not guarantee you of a successful solution; however an artistic professional may very well achieve something remarkable. Look for passion, sensitivity, reservation, a quite soul that will allow themselves to be absorbed by the intangibles.

3. DO NOT USE AERIAL SURVEYS WHEN ACCURATE INFORMATION IS REQUIRED.

4. Early on you will want to consider how to manage the built response. Because of the many advantages…Design-Build has exponentially become one of the most desired methods for project delivery. Design-Build is by where the architect will contractually provide all services; from concept to completion. (see link below)

5. Request that consulting fees be separate from the architects, so that when comparing services of another, it is plainly evident what the costs are.

6. The Construction Documents must be sufficiently detailed as to help avoid Change Order extras, that may arise in the absence of ones ability to quantify all work entailed.

7. Maintain a “Chain of Accountability”; require that all changes…on any level, be managed by Change Orders (adds, deducts and even if there is no difference). #djawest

Click on the link below to view Design Build attachment:

http://www.djawest.com/DesignBuildBrochure.pdf

AEC Professional Services

AEC Professional Services

Distinctive Stone Archway

AEC PROFESSIONAL SERVICES #djawest Ordinarily upon completing the Construction Document, an Architect’s continued participation during the Construction Phase is very limited or often times non-existent; leaving the Owner with interviewing and managing the built-response.

At Dan Joseph Architects, we understand that consistent communication, detail interpretation and onsite accountability is vital to every project’s success; therefore we offer a broad range of services, assuring the Owner along every step of the way.

Professional Services are available across North America as a very personal, private and cost effective level of combined tasking; often for less cost than Architecture and Construction Management engaged as separate entities.

Service may include:

  • Architecture & Engineering only
  • Architecture, Engineering and Construction Administration
  • Architecture, Engineering and Onsite Construction Management.

Upon an Owner’s choosing, we are your sole Designer, Administrator and Onsite Management of the built response; from concept to completion, one point of contact!

For absentee Owner’s and World Travelers alike, we are available to your call 24/7, day or night; sharing project updates and discussing other matters of importance. Upon request, we also offer continuous onsite surveillance and remote viewing of all construction related activities; a continuous feed of real time images of the built response. Privately accessible bios and online pictures of all personnel and tradesman, including background checks and verification is provided as an extended service.

Overview:  Architectural Fees are based as a percentage of anticipated construction cost and project budget; upon finalizing a negotiated agreement the fee remains fixed. Doing so is in the assurance to you that all decisions related to design and construction are in the project’s best interest; and not upon the motivation of escalating project costs and profit margins.  Construction Services are available as a Guaranteed Maximum Price or for a Lump Sum Fixed fee; once again assuring you of a transparent, personal and private comprehensive understanding of all tasks involved.

At Dan Joseph Architects, we design and deliver every level of Professional Service and possess a unique understanding of the built response. Give us a call or find us at http://www.djawest.com/ …and allow us to go to work for you today!

Sara Moulton Kitchens

Sara Moulton Kitchens

Courtesy Sara Moulton

SARA MOULTON KITCHENS #djawest :  Understanding that kitchen design, function and layout can sometimes become a challenging aspect of professional service, Dan Joseph Architects has secured the collaborative assistance of Celebrity Chef, Cookbook Author & Television Personality Sara Moulton; to help create a unique professionally endorsed kitchen for our clients.

 For pre-qualified, new construction residences, we will utilize a collective of your directives and comment, Sara Moulton’s expertise, knowledge and direction, within the greater context of a very special mountain west residence, designed and managed by Dan Joseph Architects http://www.djawest.com/

Read more about Sara on her website at  http://saramoulton.com/

Saving on Professional Service Fees and More

Saving on Professional Service Fees and MoreSAVING ON PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FEES #djawest :  More than ever Architects are aware of a demand to deliver value for the least amount of expenditure.  By allowing clients to define specific assistance as needed, or to alternatively budget and bundle a multiple of defined tasks for a fixed fee, Architects can and do maximize the value of assistance provided.

Think of it this way…a trip to the grocery store often times is augmented with a list of things to purchase; and more times then not, could be categorized by the isles in which a product would be found.  This predetermined, systematic approach allows you to maintain focus on what you really want, while gathering those things in the shortest time possible….purchasing architectural services can be thought of in a similar manner.  There are many isles and many products or services that could distract you from the few things that you may be willing to purchase.

Often times, consumers think of Architects or the services they provide as just “well rendered plans and elevations” and not much more; however in the broader context of true professional tasking, a mature Architect will earn his or her fee many times over by delivering a precise solution, at the highest quality, for the least amount of construction dispute and hard cost required to build your project.

In affect, a seasoned Architect understands a wide range of issues that in the opinion of most professionals are considered non-negotiable; as a short list those concerns may look something like this:

Planning
Design & Construction
Operations & Maintenance

Within these broad categories, there are multiple isles; and found within those isles are many, many items on the shelves in consideration to the tasks undertaken.  For example under Site Analysis alone, a very important step in the Design Process, there are dozens of evaluation categories and hundreds of checklist items.  By understanding that many tasks are involved in the comprehensive delivery of a top-notch, professional service, it becomes very easy to acknowledge that fees for certain assignments would equal tens of thousands of dollars.

 SO WHAT NOW…HOW CAN I AFFORD AN ARCHITECT ???

Well…strategies will vary and much dependant on the depth and breadth of the actual project, intended use, public safety, zoning, etc.; for instance say a Community Hospital verses a Private Residence; however most Home Owners may find the following fairly useful:

SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENCE

SCHEMATIC PHASE

  1. Think about your space needs or program; write them down.
  2. Understand and inventory various Site considerations. (see Site discussion below)
  3. Determine your budget or what you can afford for construction (all inclusive including Architecture, Engineering and Construction Management Fees).
  4. Think about an Architectural Style or character.
  5. Visit with three or more Architects on Site; discuss items 1 thru 4.
  6. Ask for a firm price to generate a Schematic Design only; of what they themselves would propose as a solution given the shared constraints.
  7. Request that the work product be in the form of a scaleable sketch of floor plans and each of the 4 primary elevations.
  8. Qualify that Plans and Elevations are yours to own for single use, provided you pay in full for all services rendered.
  9. Require that they provide a progress review document at the 30%, 60%, 90% and at the final solution phase of tasking.  Doing so allows you to comment and direct revisions along the way during this period of tasking.

Please note that if the Architect doesn’t seem to understand your goals and or that the work progress is inferior, reserve the right to cancel service immediately during any scheduled progress review meeting.  For instance, if you dismiss the Architect at the 30% review phase, only 30% of the fee would be due; and only if he or she had completed at least 30% of the work. Incidentally all progress payments would be paid along the same percentages noted.

The design is now your property….to complete as desired; you may terminate all services at this point, or alternatively if you are satisfied with the work product through the 100% review phase, you may now elect to allow the Architect to continue with tasking during the Design Development Phase of service.

DESIGN DEVELOPMENT PHASE

  1. The development side of activities will allow for a refinement of concepts, detailing and consideration to structural and performance aspects of the dwelling.  In fact, performance considerations should occur during the Schematic phase as well and continue to evolve during this period of work. (see comments re: Engineering below).
  2. Ask for a firm price to undertake Design Development only; and a short and long list of things yet to be completed.  Next decide what tasks are of value to you; then have this scope priced accordingly.
  3. Like before, require that the Architect provide a progress review document at the 30%, 60%, 90% and at the final solution phase of tasking; allowing you to comment and direct revisions along the way.  At any point the Developed Design remains your property and may be completed any way you would like; you may terminate all services at any phase of completion.  Alternatively, if you are satisfied with the work product through the 100% review stage, you might allow the Architect to continue with tasking during the Construction Document Phase of service.

CONSTRUCTION DOCUMENT PHASE

  1. As the name implies, the Construction Document phase is the assimilation of all work to date prepared and presented as a Plan or “How-to-Build” document.  The importance of this document should not be understated.  For most, a well prepared plan and accompanying specifications will save the Owner many times the actual cost for this service.

However, like anything there are exceptions to rules; an experienced builder in collaboration with a competent structural engineer may proceed with minimal plans, supplementing documents to building officials with detail cut sheets.

  1. Ask for a firm price to undertake the Con Docs only; and a list of things yet to be detailed.  Then decide what tasks are of value to you and have this scope priced accordingly.
  2. Yup…just like before, require that the Architect provide a progress review document at the 30%, 60%, 90% and at the final solution phase of tasking; allowing you to comment and direct revisions along the way.

ENGINEERING

Do not dismiss the need for engineering review; and keep tasks well defined as you had previously for the Architect.  Ask for cut sheets in lieu of drawings and a list itemizing proposed activities.  If there are any coordination issues to be undertaken with the Architect, make sure that the Architect has already agreed that those issues will be included with the Design Development phase of tasking.  Activity for this type of service…if managed correctly, can be very cost effective.

SOIL BORINGS

Some understanding of underlying bearing capacity will be needed to size footings, bearing pads, etc.  In questionable terrain, soil borings are required for each and every home location; in other parts of the country the geology is fairly predictable and may not require a formal analysis at all.  Verify this important consideration with the Engineer before undertaking a soil analysis.

SITE

Visit with your Architect regarding the following:  Property Lines, Setbacks, Right-of-Ways, Utilities, Building Restrictions, Sight Lines (in and out), Solar Access, Septic, Well location, Entry Procession, Landscaping and Hardscape Schemes, Privacy Issues, Security, Future Expansion (on site and off), Wildlife Habitat, Drainage, Erosion, Slope, Geology, Existing Trees and Vegetation, Snow Storage, Emergency Services access…..and so forth.

COSTING

What a sad day it would be…if all the effort taken to effectively buy-out professional services was lost by engaging an unscrupulous builder.  Some shifty-hacks (undeserving of the name Builder), will attempt to blur costs by throwing big numbers at you and then substituting inferior means, methods and materials during construction.  Further, you are no better off by engaging large scopes of work under a time and material basis either (hourly fees).

Look…it’s very simple; using the store analogy if you buy a bunch of bananas you pay by the pound; if you want the best price for a bunch of bananas you check the price per pound everywhere.

That’s it….simply ask for quantities of materials i.e.: Cubic Yards of Concrete, price for material and the price per CY Installed, Floor Framing and Sheathing, Wall Framing and Sheathing, Trusses and Sheathing, Roofing, Window and Door Openings, Painting….you get the idea.  Break everything down to labor (including mandays) and material, and then compare pricing to others performing those same tasks.

Now don’t think that you are safe at this point…I’ve witnessed all trades coordinating price and manipulating quantities and data in the attempt to rake in huge sums from unsuspecting owners.  I strongly suggest that you engage an Architect or Construction professional to verify quantities and expected costs before bidding; and unfortunately not all Architects or Contractors are capable of performing these tasks either…so please be careful.

I’ve personally saved my clients hundreds of thousands of dollars (often times on a single project), by putting their better interest first, and quantifying the work well before it was even undertaken for installation.  Don’t become a victim!!! Profit gouging occurs more times then most would ever care to admit or even realize…

You know what…stay tuned! I’m thinking of an upcoming blog that will utilize real-life stories, that I hope by example will help a lot of people when undertaking their own projects.

CONSTRUCTION ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT

If you are capable and competent, managing your own construction project will save you thousands in this area of responsibility.  If you are not Construction specific capable, you stand to loose a large percentages of your budget to profiteering…no matter the size or value of the undertaking.

With proper administration, delivered by an experienced and qualified Architect or Construction Manager, final pricing can be verified, proven as fair, responsible and guaranteed from the onset.  Certainly there will be open allowances for unknowns such as weather conditions, below grade obstructions or debris, undetermined geology or water table, etc.; but over all in the right hands, the process will give you much peace of mind and save you money.

WHERE ARE ALL MY SAVINGS ?

Simple, you have taken a walk down the fewest isles possible, selecting only the few items of service that you most value.  Bottom line…if you utilize this strategy you will save big money, allowing nearly anyone of modest means to afford an Architect and other construction services.  Like a water faucet, you control the flow and quantity of activity based upon budget, performance demonstrated and the information or tasking needed.

OTHER ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES

As shared earlier there are literally hundreds of tasking responsibilities in play when delivering professional services; visit with your Architect and discuss these topics:

a.) must have
b.) nice to have
c.) and the things you are willing to do without.

CONCLUSION

With decades of construction specific and professional service experience, Dan Joseph Architects http://www.djawest.com/ is ready to assist with your project needs. Give us a call and discover the joys and the many advantages of a Design-Build Team for your next project!

POINTS TO REMEMBER

  1. A predetermined, systematic approach allows you to maintain focus on what you really want, while gathering those things in the shortest time possible….purchasing architectural services can be thought of in a similar manner.
  2. A mature Architect will earn his or her fee many times over by delivering a precise solution, at the highest quality, for the least amount of construction dispute and hard cost required to build your project.
  3. If your Architect doesn’t seem to understand your goals and or the work progress is inferior, reserve the right to cancel service immediately during any scheduled progress review meeting.
  4. The importance of a Construction Plan should not be understated.  For most, a well prepared Con Doc and accompanying specifications will save many times the actual cost for this service.
  5. If there are any Engineering coordination issues to be undertaken with the Architect, make sure that the Architect has already agreed that those issues will be included with the Design Development phase of tasking.
  6. Verify your soil bearing capacity requirements with the Engineer.
  7. Understand all limitations and potential opportunities of your Site.
  8. If you want the best price for a bunch of bananas…you must check the price per pound everywhere!
  9. Unfortunately, not all Architects or Contractors are capable for performing detailed cost analysis…so be careful.
  10. With proper administration, delivered by an experienced and qualified Architect or Construction Manager, final pricing can be verified, proven as fair, responsible and guaranteed from the onset.
  11. Like a water faucet, you control the flow and quantity of activity based upon budget, performance demonstrated and the information or tasking needed.
  12. Stay tuned! I’m thinking of an upcoming blog that will utilize real-life stories, that I hope by example will help a lot of people when undertaking their own projects.