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Why does this Tenant Improvement Cost So Much?

    I'm often asked questions like this in the early phases of a tenant improvement. The client has many questions during early phases of an office relocation, and they normally would prefer to pin down the cost question quickly, so they can make a decision whether to move forward.
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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
Phone: 4807103861

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Architects and Aesthetic Design

Architects straddle the fence between form and function, and between structure and aesthetics. Each property has its own unique challenges and quirks.

Chain Restaurants and Architectural Design

Get a Commercial Architect, No Matter What Your Business Is | 480-710-3861

Maxine bought an old chain restaurant sight unseen.  Big mistake.  It used to be part of a notable pizza chain, and as such the building had a distinctive shape that showed what it once was.  Maxine wanted to open a vegetarian restaurant which was not in line with the pizza place motif.   Fortunately for her, she called an architectural firm, namely us to help her.  We were able to get the building changed over to looking much more like a bistro than a chain restaurant.

Look at a lot of chain restaurants and you can see the problem that will require you to call in an architect .  A certain taco chain for example has older restaurants that look a lot like a pueblo.  A certain defunct pizza chain is famous for its alpine peaked roof, and any restaurant that moves into either of those two spaces will have to deal with obvious design limitations.  In the case of fast food, sometimes, the furniture is cheap, fiberglass, and bolted to the floor.  With America facing an obesity epidemic, it may deter larger customers from patronizing an establishment.  It may sound funny, but it’s not.  However, there is another reason you want to get a professional in on the job.

Architects and Compliance with the Law

In addition to something like this, a lot of older chain restaurants were built before the Americans with Disability Act was passed, which means that the buildings are not wheelchair accessible.  This will not only cost a restaurant clients, it could also cost them in fines with the city, state, or in some cases at the federal level.  That’s another reason to call in an architect:  compliance.

Working together, you’d be surprised at how quickly an architect can make a building not only structurally sound, but aesthetically pleasing and compliant as well.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295

Tenant Improvement Architects and Your Building Part 2

Part two of a series on tenant improvement architects explores when you should and shouldn’t agree to tenant improvements.

Tenant Improvement Architects:  What Requests Are Valid?



As a landlord, it’s your responsibility to balance your tenant’s needs with how much it will cost and whether it is even doable.  However, you must try to keep your tenant happy, and hiring a tenant improvement architect in Phoenix is a good step in that direction, as they can help you control costs effectively.

First off, any tenant improvement that adds value to the property should be agreed to without hesitation.  For example, electrical improvements such as additional power outlets, and communications upgrades such as broadband internet connections, entertainment such as cable or satellite are safe bets.  Another thing that works are any improvements that bring your building in compliance with various laws such as ramps for wheelchairs, smoke detectors, etc.   In fact, these tenant improvements are very cost-effective particularly when viewed against the cost of fines and litigation.  Upgrades to the HVAC system also add marketability to the property and should be considered right up front.

Cosmetic Changes and a Tenant Improvement Architect

Cosmetic changes on the other hand are a judgment call for any landlord to make.   For example, knocking out a wall and replacing it with glass bricks is a tenant improvement that may limit the use of the property when it comes up for rent again.   And with an existing tenant, you have to consider whether or not you wish to keep them as a tenant before agreeing to any tenant improvement projects.  In cases like custom paint jobs for the lobby, it’s a good idea for landlords to put in a clause that the tenant has to restore it back to its original shape when they move out.

So as you see, some improvements are obvious.  Some others, you have to measure cost versus gain, and other ones you have to consider sparingly.  One thing that you don’t want to do, however, is do any project without any input from a tenant improvement architect.

This concludes part two of our series on tenant improvement architects. Be sure to read part one of this series as well.
DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295

The Many Hats of an Architect Part 2: Mechanical and Electrical

An architect is more than just about design.  He’s also an expert in multiple areas of specialty, including: mechanical, structural, electrical, geo-technical, and civil.  Part two of our series explores mechanical and electrical engineering.

Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and a Phoenix Architect

An architect can help with a project, regardless of how big or small it is

Call in an architect for commercial or residential projects | (480) 710-3861

Does an architect in Phoenix deal with mechanical engineering?  Not on a residential project, but definitely on an industrial or commercial project one would, yes. First off, though, what is mechanical engineering?  “Mechanical engineering is a discipline of engineering that applies the principles of engineering, physics and materials science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It is the branch of engineering that involves the production and usage of heat and mechanical power for the design, production, and operation of machines and tools.[1] It is one of the oldest and broadest engineering disciplines.” [READ MORE]

Say an architect is designing an industrial space, he would need to know a bit about mechanical engineering or work with a mechanical engineer on the design team.  And what about an electrical engineer?

Electrical Engineers and Architects

Electrical engineers design complex power systems.  What a lot of people don’t realize is that a building is more than just walls and floors.  It is a sophisticated combination of logistics, aesthetics,  and components that all must work together or the design is flawed.  So the power system must be able to be included in the architectural design, and everything on a mechanical level must work with the power system as well as the building design.  The more complex a commercial project is, the more an architect should be involved.

So as you see, a commercial project is just that, a project.  It involves ingenuity, discipline, and above all else, coordination.  And who is the best person to coordinate it all?  Why, a Phoenix architect of course.

This concludes part two of our series on commercial architects.  Be sure to read part one as well.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295

The Many Hats of an Architect Part 1: Geo-Technical

An architect wears many hats, and is the ringmaster of many different arenas.  This three part series will explore the different areas of engineering knowledge that such a professional must be aware of.

What Does Geotechnical Mean in Regards to Architecture?

An Architect Can Also Help with Building Safety | 480-710-3861

An architect should know all about geotechnical engineering.  What is geotechnical engineering? According to this definition from Wikipedia: “Geotechnical engineering is the branch of civil engineering concerned with the engineering behavior of earth materials. Geotechnical engineering is important in civil engineering, but is also used by military, mining, petroleum, or any other engineering concerned with construction on or in the ground. Geotechnical engineering usually uses principles of soil mechanics and rock mechanics to investigate subsurface conditions and materials; determine the relevant physical/mechanical and chemical properties of these materials; evaluate stability of natural slopes and man-made soil deposits; assess risks posed by site conditions; design earthworks and structure foundations; and monitor site conditions, earthwork and foundation construction.” [READ MORE]

I know what you’re thinking.  We live in Arizona.  There are no earthquake faults and there is very little difference in the rock.  Unfortunately, that isn’t the case.  New faults are being found all of the time, and as such, what could be a strong structure on a safe foundation could end up being closed for safety.

Geotechnical Issues and An Architect

An architect is proactive where potential geotechnical problems are concerned.  For example the Big Dig in Boston escalated into a nightmare because of a lack of oversight.  Instead of a  simple project worth a few million, the project isn’t going to be completed until 2038 and by then will cost a whopping 33 billion dollars.  And you obviously don’t want that to happen to your project.

Without any oversight, a simple project can rapidly turn into a snafu.  The way to do this is to have a professional involved at all stages of the project, your licensed and professional architect in Phoenix, AZ.

This concludes part one of our series on commercial architects.  Be sure to read part two as well.
DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295

The Process of a Phoenix Architect Part 2: The Practical Side

Part two of our series on the process of a Phoenix architect explores the more mundane side of a project.  Be sure to read part one of this series as well.

An Architectural Project:  Plans and Dollar Amounts

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As a professional architect, I get asked one question above all others:  how much will this architectural project cost?  The best way to answer this depends on one’s approach.  The cost question must be answered quickly so that the project can proceed.  First off, you must know the answer to some questions.

What’s your budget?  What about your design goals?  How flexible are you regarding your budget as well as your architectural design goals.  If you identify both your budget and design goals, an architectural firm can provide you with  a low cost conceptual design package. If you need a building that holds 400 people, and your design goals will comfortably fit 200, then you need to expand your design, which in turn will impact your budget.  You must be willing to have up to 20% flexibility on your budget at this stage.

Once your conceptual design and budget align, the project enters into the final phase of the design phase.  At this stage, you must allow up to 10% +/- the cost. You must also start looking into materials and finishes at this point.

An Architectural Project:  From Design to Reality

Before the project is complete, everything must be in place.  There should be no technical issues, and nothing should be out of place on whatever level, be it mechanical, structural, electrical, geo-technical, or civil.  An architect is more than a designer, he is also an administrator, and someone that communicates with the city and/or county governments. He is your representative to the appropriate government entities.

So as you see, the design process is more than just blueprints and budgets.  It is a complex trail that involves a lot of paperwork as well as patience.  And who is  your guide?  Your local architect of course.
DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295

How to Consult an Commercial Architect Part 1: Commercial Architecture

Consulting a commercial architect is a good idea for any additions to your business.  This article is part of a three part series.

Commercial Architecture

An architect can help with a project, regardless of how big or small it is

Call in an architect for commercial or residential projects | (480) 710-3861

Go to cities with a strong industrial and/or business base, and what do you see?  You will most likely see a bunch of buildings designed by a commercial architect.  Even in developing nations, from Shanghai to Scottsdale, commercial buildings are an important part of the skyline of any city.

Skyscrapers are what most people think of when they think of commercial buildings,  however, sometimes commercial architecture can be retail plazas or industrial parks.  Some commercial buildings are designed for office space, and some for machinery.  And in some cases, commercial real estate can be a restaurant or night club.  Whatever  the purpose these buildings serve, all commercial property has several commonalities.

Commercial Architecture and the Needs of Business

For one thing, full business centers are one of the best indications that the economy is rebounding. Each of these buildings should be safe, comfortable, connected, and accessible.  Any commercial building should be designed with the need of the businesses as part of the design.  For example, if the space is used effectively, such as for conferences, lobby design, and office allocation then it can be deemed a well-designed building.

Because of the unique needs of businesses as opposed to homeowners, commercial architectural plans are quite different than plans for, say a three bedroom home.  One thing that businesses have to adhere to far more closely are environmental concerns.  Nowadays setting up a business is a lot more complicated.  Reducing carbon emissions, energy efficient design, and environmental impact studies are all concerns now with commercial architecture.

In our next article, we will explore some of these changes in the way commercial architecture has changed.  In addition we will also explore more about the specialties that a commercial architect has to offer.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295



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Home Remodeling and Your Architect

Your architect in Chandler is more than about structural safety and building codes. He can also help you improve the aesthetics of your home…

Home Remodeling is More Than Just Style

Let’s say you got the latest home design magazine or visited a website full of remodeling tips.  Excited, you pick up all the colors, upholstery swatches, a couple of end tables and some vases.  You place them all, and compare it to the picture, and suddenly you find yourself disappointed.  You can’t figure out what’s wrong.  That’s where an architect can help.  Most people think that architects are just about structural design and additions, but sometimes, they can help you with important design elements such as natural light.

One trick that a Chandler architect can use  that is very effective  is the use of glass bricks.  According to this article excerpt:  Glass brick, also known as glass block, is an architectural element made from glass. Glass bricks provide visual obscuration while admitting light. The glass block was originally developed in the early 1900s to provide natural light in manufacturing plants. Glass bricks are produced for both wall and floor applications. Glass blocks for use in floors are normally manufactured as a single solid piece, or as a hollow glass block with thicker side walls than the standard wall blocks. These blocks are normally cast into a reinforced concrete gridwork or set into a metal frame, allowing multiple units to be combined to span over openings in basements and roofs. [READ MORE]

Glass bricks can be surprisingly durable.  In some cases they can even be used in flooring.  The whole reason you want to employ glass bricks in your remodeling, is that  it’s a good idea as well as a cost effective one to make as much use of natural light as possible.

Tips From a Professional Architect: Natural Light is Ideal

Call a Home Remodeling Architect | 480-710-3861

While tract lights at night add an air of quiet ambiance, natural light makes a home seem somehow more like a home, while at the same time, gives your home a professional home remodeling look.  If you don’t believe us, go visit Chandler Fashion Center during the day.  If you walk down each of the upstairs wings, you’ll see a lot of natural light in play.  The mall makes clever use of reflective white panels that when the light hits them, add a lot of light to the mall.  However, it isn’t just a shopping mall that benefits from this abundant resource.  Your home can too.

This is just one trick that can transform your living space.  You want to consult the professional that has even more tips up his sleeve, your professional architect.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295


Get Home Remodeling Done by a Professional Architect

A custom home remodeling architect helps you for the one inevitability of life: change.  How?  We’re glad you asked…

What Can a Custom Home Remodeling Architect Do?

Get your custom home remodeled today by an architect

Call in a Professional Architect for Your Custom Home Remodeling | (480) 710-3861

A custom home remodeling architect is someone that can help you rearrange your living space so it is a better fit.  For example, let’s say you have children that have grown up and moved out.  The spare bedroom can be remodeled into an office, or maybe a home gym.  Or, maybe on the other hand, what if you’re a small family that is about to get bigger.  You’re going to need another bedroom, and maybe another bathroom too.  Maybe you have all the room you need, but you want to renovate your home into a luxury showplace.

A Professional Architect Can Give Your Home a Million Dollar Look

Because of the training that an architect receives, they are well versed in aesthetics.  Simple rearranging a few light sources, and using them cunningly can totally transform a home from drab to dazzling in just a short period of time.  Even something as subtle as installing a skylight  can make a room into a showpiece.

When you find an architect to remodel your home, communication is key.  Look at all of those home makeover shows where the architect is given carte blanche to remodel someone’s home, and the homeowners have a smile that looks like a grimace at the end result.  Your input should always be welcome, and your tastes should definitely be a deciding factor.  Your architect should understand that when you say you want to redecorate, and you love Art Deco, that a craftsman cottage will not meet your needs.  Or, let’s say you want a luxury sitting room, and instead you get a tiny living room that looks like it belongs in a ranch style home circa 1955.

Remodeling your home is a morale booster.  It is one of those projects that when completed will make your home an elegant complement to your life.  So know your tastes, remember that when in doubt, earth tones go with almost everything, and above all else, get the right custom home remodeling architect for your project.

Design Line Architects, LLC  offers custom home remodeling design. Give us a call today and let us show  you how we can help your home to be so much more.

Design Line Architects, LLC
470 East Canyon Creek Court
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 710-3861


An Architect’s Areas of Specialty

An architect does more than just build buildings and design structures.  This article will explore some of the many things that a design professional like this can do either for a homeowner or a business owner.

Architects: More than Just Buildings

An architect in Phoenix can help you with remodeling

Call an Architect in Phoenix | (480) 710-3861

Ancient Rome was famous for its aqueducts, among other things. How were they built? With the help of a series of architects. Of course they had a different name back then, but the principles were the same.  Even back then, architects were people who wore many different hats.  Today, however, an architect serves a lot of purposes including:

Administration of projects-A lot of people don’t realize that an architect is more than just a design professional.  Architects also serve as the last word in projects, and are also the manager on whom a lot of decisions rest.

-Clearing permits with city governments where necessary.  Do you know what permits are necessary for a room addition?  If you’re building on land, do you know how to schedule an environmental impact study?  A Phoenix architect does.

Form and Function: More Jobs for Your Architect

-Aesthetics and incorporating both form and function.  If you are looking at custom home remodeling, do you know how to place a natural light source where it won’t be glaring, or too dark?  Guess who can tell where it should go…?

Tenant improvement.  Let’s say you have a commercial property.  One of your tenants has a booming business and needs to expand into the suite next door.  They want to knock out a wall.  Who do you go to for the answer?  Simple, you call in a professional architect.

There are certain jobs you don’t do yourself.  If you are injured in a car wreck, you don’t drive yourself to the hospital.  If  you are in danger from a criminal you call the police.  And when you want to do something connected with your building or structure, you call in an architect.

Design Line Architects, LLC  is a Phoenix based architecture firm.

Design Line Architects, LLC
470 East Canyon Creek Court
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 710-3861


Don’t Do It Yourself: Hire an Architect

Mesa Building Permits

Hiring an architect can help you to avoid some major legal hassles, particularly in Mesa, as this article from AZCENTRAL shows:

Building Permits and a Mesa Architect

Mesa targets do-it-yourselfers who don’t get proper permits
By Gary Nelson The Republic | Wed Jan 2, 2013 9:21 AM

People who think they can save a few bucks by ignoring Mesa’s building-permit requirements sometimes are in for an expensive surprise.

In rare cases, illegal additions have to be torn down altogether. In others, the city will discover that the work has been done, require that the owner get a permit and may require modifications to bring the do-it-yourself work up to code.

And in rarer cases still, unsafe additions can contribute to property damage and even personal injury.

Mesa would really rather not have any of that happen. So the city is launching an educational effort aimed at helping homeowners understand when and why permits are needed.

“Sometimes the work is quite expensive and the reason it is of concern to us is because there are potential life safety issues if it is not done properly,” said Laura Hyneman, who oversees Mesa’s code-compliance office.

To read more of this article, please click here.

Avoiding Fines By Getting a Home Remodeling Architect

Sometimes violations of city codes can be quite expensive.  Fines can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars.  All of which can be avoided by getting the proper building permits.

How Can An Architect Help With Building Permits?

Because of all of the training, any architect is an expert at navigating the sometimes complicated permit process.  They can tell you easily what type of permits to get and when, and in many cases get the permits on your behalf.

So be sharp.  Don’t find out when it is too late that the project you’re working on required a permit.  Call in an architect that can navigate Mesa’s permit process.

Design Line Architects, LLC is an architect serving Mesa, Gilbert, and all cities within the Phoenix Metropolitan area.

Design Line Architects, LLC
470 East Canyon Creek Court
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 710-3861