We’ve enjoyed going through the design process (again...), but we’ve had a growing sense of foreboding. It’s not Architect 2d’s fault. Chalk it up to post-traumatic stress syndrome from Design Process 1.0 where the project crashed-and-burned once it (twice) came in fatally above budget (ultimately fatal to that design and to the relationship with Architect 1.0). The house Architect 2d and the Usonian Expert put together is fabulous nice. And fabulous nice costs money. As the bride put it “I love the house, but I’m worried.” As Design Process 2.0 reached the 95 percent completion point, Architect 2d worked up his in-house budget for the house. And it came in at the goal. Whew! However, given our experience with Architect 1.0 (and after reading Malone’s book), we wanted the builder to take a look at the house and give us an estimate from his point of view at this point.
And the builder’s estimate came in at (drum roll please [cough, cough]) just about the same as the architect’s! Yay, yay, double yay!!! We yipped, we yollered, and we clinked champagne glasses filled with champagne (and drank the contents).
It’s remarkable how close the two estimates are (calling Alex Jones...). When we passed this (good) news on to the architects, Architect 2d replied (and I’m paraphrasing) ”But of course!” Architect 2d has (nearly) reinstated our faith in the architectural profession (we say "nearly" because we haven't seen him dance yet; we withhold full reinstatement until we see him dance).
Back when I threw my hissy fit over Architect 1.0, I said we wanted an architect who did design-build because that meant he would know how much it cost to build. Ultimately that didn’t work out. The economic downturn seemed to dry up the ”low end” design-build firms. However, Architect 2d used to do design-build, so he’s clearly used that experience to properly price out projects.
I can’t tell you how happy we are!
[photo by mwah!]