Home  Design
do I need an architect ?


No, you do not...... surprised ?

By law, the state allows a great deal of freedom in home design.   The California Business and Professional Code states in the Architecture section:


5537. (a) This chapter does not prohibit any person from preparing plans, drawings, or specifications for any of the following:
(1) Single-family dwellings of woodframe construction not more than two stories and basement in height.
(2) Multiple dwellings containing no more than four dwelling units of woodframe construction not more than two stories and basement in height. However, this paragraph shall not be construed as allowing an unlicensed person to design multiple clusters of up to four dwelling units each to form apartment or condominium complexes where the total exceeds four units on any lawfully divided lot.
(3) Garages or other structures appurtenant to buildings described under subdivision (a), of woodframe construction not more than two stories and basement in height.


Although this law allows for lots of freedom for home design, in actual practice, a higher standard is advisable.

It is imperative that you know what you are doing before you commit tens of thousands of dollars to any residential construction project.   If, for example, you simply asked a General Contractor to design your home, you may get a project that meetings the minimum Building Code requirements, but this may be very far from good design and the quality of the workmanship will have no oversight from an indenpental 3rd party.   Are you an expert on construction inspection?   Your local building department has very low standards for quality.   Quality construction is not their goal, safety is.   Simply meeting minimum Building Code requirements, does not provide any measure of quality construction.

Hiring a Qualified Design Professional is an essential part of any construction project.

Who is a Qualified Design Professional ?
This may or may not include an architect.   If your architect is a humble, reasonably priced, cost conscious design professional who listens to you, that’s great.   If, on the other hand, your architect is more concerned about “his vision” rather than your budget, you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.   The latter is more common than you might think.

A Qualified Design Professional has the knowledge, experience and desire to:

  • Create great designs, based on your wishes and within your budget.
  • Clearly communicate that design to you and others .
  • Generate thorough documentation for construction.
  • Effectively comply with all Planning and Building department requirements .
  • Represent your best interests throughout the Design / Build process .
  • Provide the above services quickly and in an affordable manner .

We have been providing this level of service for over 25 years.