FAQ's

Please feel free to contact us with any unanswered questions.

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Who should I hire first, an architect or a general contractor (GC)?

There are 2 ways to kick off your project planning: Traditional Contract Method or Design-Build, and there are pros and cons to both.

Traditional Contract Method is when the home or business owner first hires an architect to design the project and then produce the construction document set of drawings.  Once complete, those drawings are used to bid-out your project or find GC's by getting costs for construction.  But, if the owner already has a GC they'd like to use, the GC uses the drawings to formulate their quote and submit for building permit, starting the construction process.

Con's: This can be a long and costly process, especially if the GC suggests changes to the drawings (called value engineering) to save money in the long run. The owner should keep the architect updated with any changes so they can continue to provide guidance. 

Pro's: The project owner contracts with the architect and GC separately, creating a checks and balances scenario where both parties are working for the best interest of the owner.  

Design-Build is when the home or business owner hires the team which is comprised of a GC and an architect and/or designer (and is sometimes the same person).  This method was used in ancient construction and is now becoming popular again.  

Con's: Because the project owner only hires one entity and is typically a faster process, it reduces the likelihood to catch an error before it turns into a bigger problem.

Pro's: The project is designed and constructed with the same team, which makes it faster and less expensive overall.  

Sylvaleur works with both methods.  If you're interested in Design-Build we will refer you to the General Contractors we work with.  Click here.

How does Sylvaleur charge for their services?

Sylvaleur can follow a payment schedule that works for you.  Depending on the project, sometimes we charge hourly, sometimes in a lump sum, or both.  Our hourly rate changes with the market and currently is $70.  We track our hours and use that to inform our lump sum estimates and quotes.  

 

Sylvaleur loves a good trade so don't hesitate to ask!  Click here for more info.  

What is an Architect?

An architect is a licensed professional who works together with their clients to design houses, buildings, and structures, while providing construction documents to contractors.  The set of drawings an architect produces becomes the contract between the owner and the general contractor.  Besides being used to construct a building, the drawings provide an organized backdrop for all the consultants and subcontractors to plan from.  The drawings can also be used for marketing material and a way for the client to visualize the project before it is built.  

 

An architect is registered with the state in which they work through the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).  The licensing process includes completion of three main components: (1) graduation from an architecture program at a school accredited by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), (2) the Intern Develop Program (IDP) which consists of a list of activities culminating in a minimum of 3 years of work experience, (3) passing the series of 5 Architectural Registration Exams (ARE).

How long does the design process take?

There are many factors that contribute to the length of design process which make it hard to define.  One often overlooked factor is that amount of time the home or business owner is able to give to keep the project moving.  Throughout the process there are several meetings to attend and countless decisions to be made.  Sometimes owners want things done very quickly, but it's important not to rush.  And sometimes it's difficult to make a decision, so don't hesitate to ask for help. 

If there's a need for a quick project turnaround, Sylvaleur can work to fast-track to process.  But also keep in mind the different schedules of many people (engineers, consultants and trades people) who contribute to your project.