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We are deeply committed to offering a comprehensive experience in an efficient manner.


Below, you'll find frequently asked questions separated into categories, or topics. If we don't have an answer here, contact us! 


We will be updating this section regularly to ensure that we stay current. Nevertheless, every project is unique. Contact us if you want to further discuss the specifics of your project.


If you would like to know more about the role of an architect and the overall process of designing and building your project, we recommend scheduling a consultation call or sending us a note.

  • What Is the difference between a licensed Architect and an Architectural Designer?
    An architect has a license granted by the state and required several years of accredited university education, internship hours, pass examinations and annual maintenance of license(s) via professional continuing education. Everyone on our our team holds a Bachelor and Master degrees that have been obtained from a university that meets the National Architectural Accrediting Board.
  • I already have plans from an architect or online, can you use them?
    Sometimes, but often no. Drawings are considered intellectual property (IP) of the designer... In some circumstances, we can work with you to understand release forms and other documents that are required to carry out the design. In order to unpack this answer there are three points that we usually follow for other architects’ or designers' work. The first point is a follow up question: "Did you pay for the blueprints or do you have authorization from the architect (or designer) to use them?" If the answer is no, then we will not be able to service you at all because that is a copyright infringement. As Architects, we take pride in what we do, we also would like to be compensated or credited for our ideas just like our colleagues and fellow architects. The second point is that every jurisdiction and/or location in the world is different and unique. Very often the floor plan will be a perfect fit in relationship to the site or code regulation, thus some modification will be required. Provided of course that you own rights to use that floor plan as stated in the first point. The third point is that we usually present our fees as a percentage rate, but we also offer hourly or per square-foot factor fees. There are no discounts for having a predefined idea.
  • Do you work outside of Texas?
    As of now, we are only practicing home design in Texas. We offer commercial design services outside the state of Texas. Stay tuned, as we advance our practice in the near future.
  • Do you offer a Design-Build service option?
    Not just yet.. it will be an option in the near future!
  • Do you work with other consultants, like Civil, Structural and MEP Engineers?
    We do! In fact, a multidisciplinary team is our working preference. We also offer Project Management services to help manage consultants, keeping the project within the lanes and on track to completion.
  • Some architects offer design services for foundation and framing plans, do you?
    Sorry, we don't currently offer that service. Also, we only work with licensed professionals in the state of Texas.
  • How fast can we get our drawings?
    With today’s hot market and ongoing supply chain shortages, setting realistic timelines for architecture and construction is more important than ever for a project to run smoothly. Please contact us to discuss our availability to start on your project, and how long they estimate it will take to complete.
  • How do you calculate square footage?
    We calculate livable or conditioned square footage by adding all the areas inside your exterior walls, that are considered conditioned spaces. In other words.. the areas that are cooled or heated by your mechanical system. This number is also critical when determining your septic field size and type. Areas like shafts, garages, covered porches, attics, etc are not included. Those spaces are calculated separately. Now, we often get the question.. what is Gross Square Footage (GSF)? And why do you use GSF on your proposals? We simply add the others non-conditioned spaces to your conditioned square footage (mentioned above) to tally up a grand total. Our fee is often multiplied off of this square footage because we are still designing such spaces as, garages, porches, shafts, roofs, etc. Please feel free to contact us for more information on how we calculate spaces.
  • I just wanted to sell my lot. Can you help?
    Read more about our Pre-Sale packages here. Presale packages are a great opportunity for first time home buyers, investors and property owners looking to sale or develop their land. ​ As a residential and commercial architect firm with a diverse range of experience, we have perfected the art of unearthing the hidden potential at every location. Whether you’re looking to build a home or an addition, or even sell your existing lot, our discerning eye can help you showcase the site’s full potential. ​ Presale packages are particularly important as they provide home buyers, investors and property owners with the opportunity to discover the options in selling or developing their land.
  • How do we get started?
    We will first arrange a free consultation call or site visit (preferred) to discuss your specific project requirements. After we collect your data, we will generate a draft proposal to discuss the full scope and proposed schedule / fee. 90% of our project will require an owner survey (within 10 years) to initiate the project. This document is critical when laying out your project on the site. It will also indicate all setbacks, restrictions, easements, existing utilities, etc. If you don't have a survey.. no worries. Our team works with several firms that can help generate the documents for you. If you have land features, such as steep topography.. we highly suggest ordering the survey with tree and 3D contours. Again, we will help you through this process!
  • What is a Site Study?
    Learn more about Site Studies here. A site analysis is an important step, as it helps clients determine whether construction on the site is viable and if there are any potential construction site issues. Completing an extensive site analysis will also determine if the development is financially feasible, as well as set the parameters for suitable designs based on the physical and environmental features of the site.
  • My project requires a septic field, can you help?
    Absolutely. 90% of our projects in this area require On-Site Sewage Facility (septic tank / system). Nothing to worry. they're actually fairly clean systems and often yield great landscaping results. Most jurisdictions required a professional septic designers and we can recommend a few. Their design fees range anywhere between $3-15, depending on your soil conditions and project requirements. Our initial site planning exercise will include a preliminary layout.. which is a critical first step to laying out your project.
  • Do you work with topography?
    We do! Don't let steep hillsides or land features scare you away from development. Our designs will be tailored to your specific lot. We often work with local civil engineers to determine foundation design, retaining walls and hardscape features.
  • What size projects do you work on?
    All shapes and sizes.. We have worked on projects that range from small interior fit-ups, to some of the largest building in the world. Some work we cannot publish due to non-disclosures agreement's.. however, we can at least say we have a "Texas" size range of capabilities.
  • What is and isn’t included in your serives?
    We offer a wide range or services tailored to each specific project needs. Everything we offer is in house (excluding some rendering work). Different architectural firms offer different levels of service, so it’s important to understand what is and isn’t included in your contract. Typical levels of service include builder sets or full service. Each method has its own unique pros and cons. Selecting what is right for you is a personal decision which involves looking at your budget, project scope, and desired level of involvement, among other things.
  • Do you offer specialized services in sustainable design?
    We can work with you to explore energy efficient building envelopes, mechanical systems and other efficient energy strategies to reduce your home's environmental impact and operating needs. If your goal is to create a design that is beautiful, healthy and respectful of the environment, our team has the knowledge to help you meet your goal. We have direct experience with several commercial LEED accredited projects through-out the country.
  • Do you work with local contractors? Recommend anybody?
    Yes, we work with several builders in the surrounding Austin and San Antonio area. If you don’t already have a builder selected, an architect’s recommendation can be particularly helpful in narrowing your search. Most architectural firms work with a variety of builders, and are familiar with their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to recommend professionals based on the needs of your particular project
  • Who will be managing my project and how will it be managed?
    Throughout the architectural design portion of your project, you will work with an architect and project manager. Your architect will be your main point of contact during programming and schematic design (SD). Once your project moves into design development (DD), your project manager becomes your main point of contact for the remainder of the design process. Both your architect and project manager will be available for any questions that might come up during construction. It is important to make sure that your team will be accessible not only to you, but to your contractors. Once construction begins, your main point of contact will be your builder or superintendent on the project. At this point, apart from answering any questions that might come up during construction about the drawings, the architect’s role is typically complete, unless you have hired them for construction observation.
  • Can you provide a construction estimate?
    Short answer is no. Construction costs can vary on a weekly basis, with the current market trend, shortage of labor and materials, etc. We recommend consulting with a local builder that is familiar with the region, has established sub-contractors, a great financial report card and a background in your specific project type. Also, we often worked with third-party estimators (commercial) who can offer assistance with estimates.
  • How long will it take for my permit to be processed?
    One of our most commonly asked questions! Each city, county and even subdivision can have their own zoning and design guidelines. Permitting processes and the length of time needed to get a permit can vary greatly depending on the area. Certain subdivisions have strict design guidelines and new homes must be approved by a design review committee before being built. Talk with your architect about their experience in the area you are building in. While this shouldn’t be a deal breaker, it can be helpful if your architect already knows the ins and outs of working in your area.
  • What is a strategy for keeping my project on budget during construction?
    Read your construction estimate carefully. Before your start building your home renovation, addition or new building, make sure you read and reread your construction budget on your own and with your architect to see if the overall project is documented to reflect all the work show in the drawings and specifications. Avoid making changes during construction. Once the general contractor begins building, resist the impulse to make changes to your project or be prepared for the implications. A simple request to move a wall one foot further might require revised structural engineering, new unforeseen consequences to other spaces, permit revisions, additional construction time and more fees to your architect and general contractor. Be involved in your project. By staying on track with decisions and participating in the site meetings, you will make meetings more efficient and productive. When outstanding decisions are on the table, someone on the team is not moving and that could result in unanticipated delays to another player on the team. Managing unforeseen costs. When new costs are added to a project, make sure your general contractor has a system in place for quantifying these added costs and obtaining your approval prior to implementation so that you will not be faced with cost overruns at the end of the job.
  • I just want a simple and small project. How much will it cost?
    It all depends on your project specific requirements, finishes, locations, etc. We will recommend a minimum of $250.00 - $350.00 dollars per square-foot (in the central Texas area). Economy of scale is a term used in the industry that refers to labor and material costs gained by increasing the volume of the scope of work. In other words, the bigger your house is, the better price per square foot you will get. However, the fact remains that you will still pay more. With this in mind, a smart and creative design will help you control costs. Examples of this can be: building efficiently with repeating details, combining and maximizing spaces, building with regular shapes, limiting your finish palette (think elegant and simple), using local sourced materials, etc.
  • I will be my own general contractor, therefore I will be saving money, correct?
    Overhead and profit would be the margin that you will be saving. That is anywhere from 15 to 20% of the overall construction cost. A word of advice is that acting as your own general contractor is not a simple task. A missed sequence, miscalculation on required materials order, materials not showing up on time, a "surprise" site condition, redoing work not done property, misinterpretation of code standards, hiring cheap sub-contractors, etc. All of these are reasons that might make the percentage savings not be worthy.
  • I want to make a small addition and remodel some parts of my house, how much will it cost?
    Additions and remodeling jobs have hidden conditions (buried in walls, floors, ceiling and even within the property) that an architect and/or builder do not have control over (because it is built already.) Sometimes you even need to bring your existing property "up-to code" with certain elements of the project that do not meet the current standards. When working with a project with inhabitants, the sequence of construction events that is required to renovate a space need to be considered. Therefore the builder needs to charge a fee for these extra steps to ensure that activities will be developed accordingly. This is another reason that pricing may increase. We recommend comparing the prices of these projects as if they were new construction projects in order to have a successful experience. As mentioned in answer number two, the quality of craftsmanship and materials will affect the price.
  • What is your fee breakdown?
    Read more about our Fee Structure here. Our firm offers competitive pricing in the market. We are not the cheapest, but we are also not the most expensive architecture firm. Why? This is a fair way of making sure that the quality, craftsmanship and design are all in the same category. Any established architect needs to cover expenses for operations (salaries, rent, software licenses, and misc. overhead), liability and profit. While cost shouldn’t always be the primary factor in selecting an architect, architectural fees can be confusing. It’s very important to understand your architect’s fee structure before signing a contract. There are 4 main methods that architects normally use to calculate their fees: Straight time spent (hourly) on your project Stipulated (lump) sum Percentage of the cost of the work (example: 2% of the overall construction cost of $2m house = 40k) Based on the project’s square footage (example: $5 per gross sf x $5000 sqft house = $25k fee) You can select all or part of our services and our fees will be worked out depending on your requirements. Some projects are best worked out on an hourly rate whilst others require a fixed fee or percentage fee, or we may suggest a combination of all four.
  • Which fee method should I select?
    Fees vary per project and are influenced by a number of factors including: size, scope, site, specifications, etc. Generally speaking, there are 4 common methods architects can use to calculate their fees: Straight time spent (hourly) on your project For some projects, especially those that do not have a clear definition of scope, the architect will bill an hourly rate for services rendered. The hourly rate charged will depend on the type of work performed and by which members of the design team. Rates vary between architect, project manager, draftsman, etc. While hourly billing is fairly straightforward, charging an entire project based solely on time makes many people nervous – it feels undefined and open-ended. For some aspects of the design, billing at an hourly rate is preferable. We typically only bill on an hourly basis for tasks such as: As-built drawings (As built drawings document existing conditions and are needed for remodels when the original plans are not available). Homeowner request for changes that are beyond the original scope of the project, or occur after certain approvals have already been made. During schematic design for remodels (When the scope is still being defined). Stipulated (lump) sum When an architect quotes a stipulated sum for a project, he or she is essentially basing the number off of gut instinct. If their educated guess is correct, then great! As a homeowner, you can know exactly what your project will cost. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work out. We’ve seen many professionals – not just architects – low ball their quote in order to win the job, and then later realize that they aren’t charging enough to complete the project. At this point, they generally return to the homeowner and ask for more money. Not a conversation you want to be having. This is our least preferred option - and most unlikely. Percentage of the cost of the work This is not a method that we often use, but since you may run into a firm that does charge architectural fees as a percentage of the total cost of work, we are including it. Imagine that the total cost of your home is going to be 2 million dollars – this includes everything: construction, finishes, details, maybe even interior design. If your architectural fees are 8% of the total cost, they would come out to $160,000. Charging as a percentage of the total cost of work doesn’t make sense to us for one main reason: the quality of finishes, construction, appliances, etc. can vary widely, and why should you be charged more in architectural fees based on the quality of construction or of your appliances? example: 8% of the overall construction cost of $2m house = $160k) NOTE: This method does make sense in cases where the architect is providing interior design or construction administration in addition to typical architectural design services. Based on the project’s square footage This is our preferred method. We believe it makes the most sense for everyone involved. At the most basic level, this means you’ll pay more for a larger home and less for a smaller home. Initially, it can be more difficult to pin down an exact cost, but once the scope of the project is in place and the square footage has been decided upon, the cost will only vary if there are any significant changes in scope or design after approvals have been given at certain stages. example: $10 per gross sf x $5000 sq house = $50k fee) Take our above example of the 2 million dollar home. If we put some nice round numbers to it and said the home was 5,000 SF and the architectural fees were $10 per square foot, then the architectural fee would be $50,000.
  • What is your typical hourly rate?
    It all depends honestly on the scope of work. Some of our services are based on a rate hourly fee, typically between $85 and $250 per hour, depending on the level of experience. We are a creative based firm and we value quality. Creativity knows no time, therefore the solution can come in a matter of hours or days. We feel that hourly rates sometimes punish the architect for being efficient and sometimes by client's auditing the veracity of hours spent to solve something.
  • How do you invoice?
    Typically a percentage at the end of each phase. Some project require a retainer to get started.
  • How do we pay your invoices?
    It's very simple and secure. We can accept digital checks or direct bank transfer. Our system also accepts all major debt, credit card and Apple Pay, for a small processing fee. Please contact us for any specific questions.
  • How much do you charge for the initial consultation?
    We offer a free consultation for all new projects. The initial consultation is a time for us to discuss your requirements and to see if you feel we are the right company for your project. At this time we will discuss your ideas and concepts and our experience and capabilities to deliver what you require. During the meeting you will be given the opportunity to ask any questions, or ask for clarification of anything that has been discussed.
We hope this helps.

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From top-to-bottom remodels to new builds, our team specializes in creating spaces that bring form and function to the everyday. 

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