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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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Remodeling Architect

Top Reasons To Seek The Services Of An Architect in Phoenix (Conclusion)

Need some more reasons to hire an architect in Phoenix?  Then read on.

Hire a Professional  Phoenix  Architect | 480-710-3861

Hire a Professional Phoenix Architect | 480-710-3861

An Architect in Phoenix: From Dream to Reality

Let’s say you want a custom home, or you want to hire an architect for custom home remodeling. An architect’s plans can make entire difference in transforming your dreams to reality.  Why?  Well, the plans are filled with a plethora of information, from the overall structural design to the insignificant details that a contractor requires. Like what?  Well, for one, where to put the HVAC system and all ventilation.  If there is one thing that you will need in Arizona is a good ventilation system.

If an issue arises, which often happens, the plans will act as a record of whatever should have been done. In this manner, an architect will find a seamless solution without necessarily compromising your design, your prerequisites or your budget.   However, one area other than adhering to building codes that you might not think about where an architect in Phoenix can help you is living in harmony with the environment.

Green Building and Your Phoenix Architect

With high summer temperatures, and an increasing population, living or doing business in Phoenix is often a challenge.  For one, cooling a larger building can often be cost prohibitive, and landscaping that uses a lot of water not only wastes a lot, it also increases your operating costs in terms of your water bill.

Surprisingly, a lot of people don’t realize that an architectural firm in Phoenix can help to overcome these challenges with several different strategies such as designing a structure with an atrium, namely where the offices are centered around the outside of the building, and a hollow center on the inside.  An architect can design a building so a minimal amount of airflow cools a massive structure.

We absolutely need to design buildings that are both eco-friendly and well designed.  Green design is very big these days.  This is why more and more architects these days are starting to design structures that fit into this methodology. There are several reasons to consider the sustainability concept every time you embark on the construction or renovation of an existing building. For example:
– It saves your investment as it ensures that it lasts for a long time
– Limits its consumption
– Saves money
– You will end up with a very energy efficient design.

And who can help you with this?  Your architectural firm in Phoenix.

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


What a Residential Architect Can Do For Your Home Part 2

Part two of our series explores some more things that a residential architect can do for your home.

Tempe house plans

Residential Architect | 480-710-3861

What Does a Residential Architect Do?

What does a residential architect do? Well according to the site SuperPages.Com:

“Most residential architects will create custom designs for clients who wish to have unique homes. Having a custom home will give you the opportunity to freely construct a building that will perfectly match your personality and lifestyle. It may be cost more than purchasing a generic home, but everyone wishes to live in their dream homes, and working with residential architects to do a one-of-a-kind design is the surest way to achieve that dream. Other residential architects, however, those who build apartments and townhouses, will usually stick to generic or standard designs.Typically, a residential architect will start a project by first meeting with the client in order to determine his or her design vision, budget, and style. The architect will draft blueprints to present his proposals. A residential architect should always keep abreast with current architectural trends for merging style with function, so make sure his proposal reflects that knowledge.When employing the services of a residential architect, expect him to guide your all throughout the project, from drafting the design to the complete construction of the property. They must work closely with you in order to make sure that all your expectations are met. They’re like fashion designers, but instead of making clothes, they build houses… and just the same way you would like clothing to fit you perfectly, you also want a home that fits your lifestyle well.

Aside from aesthetics, a residential architect must also incorporate safety guidelines, and building codes, into the design. Floor plans must include designs for plumbing, electrical, cooling and heating systems for the property.

A good residential architect will supervise and oversee a project from start to completion. They must also interact with contractors, builders, and interior designers.

The trend nowadays is building greener homes and more and more residential architects are jumping into the bandwagon. Green homes are designed in such a way that promotes energy conservation. For instance, green homes during the hot summer months will not require frequent use of air conditioners. The ventilation of the home will be maximized through the construction of the home. Residential architects will also research on the best and most eco-friendly construction materials to use for building.” [READ MORE]

Do Residential Architects Cost a Lot of Money?

Do residential architects cost a lot of money?  That depends on how you look at it. Compared to fines from the city, county, and sometimes the State for doing a project that hasn’t been approved, the fees that an architect will charge are minor at best.

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

Remodeling Projects Part 1: Natural Light

Part one of a series on remodeling projects covers the addition of natural light fixtures to an existing home or business.

Natural Light in Architectural Design 

Call in an Architect to Remodel Your Business | 480-710-3861

Using natural light effectively in an architectural design is important both aesthetically and psychologically.  One of our clients in Scottsdale bought a building to set up their new corporate headquarters.  The building was antiquated and made at a time when everyone seemed to love fluorescent lighting.  When we were remodeling the place, the client was at a loss for what to do where light was concerned.  We installed about three or four skylights, including one large one in the lobby area.  We removed the popcorn plaster ceiling and rerouted the ventilation shafts.

What was a dilapidated eyesore changed into a corporate showpiece, and all because we added some natural light.  However, it isn’t just skylights that can help with natural light.  With the right windows designed by an architectural firm, you can have the best of both worlds, with glare reduction woven together with natural light.

Architects and Window Design

Sometimes, when a building was designed, the tastes of the times dominated the design.  As a result, there are some building designerss that were so keen on the introduction of electric light, that they walled off windows to take advantage of the “marvel of the modern age.”  As a result, a lot of older buildings have an oppressive feel because of the lack of natural light.  By consulting an architect, you can place a window appropriately, without compromising the structural integrity of the building, and also avoiding putting a window that will catch far too much sunlight.

So remember that natural light is a wonderful addition to a building.  It gives people a morale boost, and allows you to save money on electricity.  So if you want to add natural light to your building design, call in an architect.

This concludes part one of our series.  For more information on remodeling projects, be sure to read part two and part three as well.

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

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


Why Hire an Architect For Your Home Remodeling Project

Home Remodeling-Call an Architect

Home Remodeling-Call an Architect | (480) 710-3861

Hiring an architect for a home remodeling project seems to be an unnecessary expense.  But this article except from shows some clear advantages to hiring a professional:

Advantages of Hiring an Architect

The bigger the remodeling job and the more valuable the house, the more you need a professional. “Any time you’re changing the exterior of the building, making significant alterations to the floor plan inside, or spending more than 5% of the value of the house, you want an architect,” says Stamford, Conn., construction manager William Harke.

Both architects and contractors can save you money through the creative use of space and materials. But the two professionals often solve problems differently. In a nutshell:

Contractors typically look for an efficient and logical solution, but not necessarily the most innovative or aesthetically pleasing approach.

Architects typically propose solutions that add visual appeal, and complement and flow into the rest of the house.

To red more of this article, please visit  the source article here.

Hiring an Architect Versus Hiring a Contractor

Be aware that not every project requires that you hire an architect.  Something simple like painting, electrical, drywall etc., are all the realms of a contractor. However, remodeling jobs that require you to get building permits such as home additions are the realm of a licensed architecture firm.

However, it isn’t just home additions that require permits, or the skilled hand of an architect.  Sometimes,  home remodeling requires that you get in touch with a pro.

Structural Integrity and an Architect

Let’s say you want to add some natural lighting to your family room.  You go to your local home improvement center, and buy a whole bunch of glass bricks and some mortar and caulking.  You’re all set.  Except, that you are looking at putting the glass bricks in a load bearing corner.  Without meaning to, you could damage the structural integrity of your house, or if you live in Mesa, you may get in trouble with the city if you’re not careful.  You would do better by calling in an architect instead, as they can easily determine where it is safe to put your new glass brick wall while keeping your house’s structure intact.

 Design Line Architects, LLC is a Gilbert-based architecture firm.

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



Remodel Your Home in Time For Spring

Call Your Gilbert Architect for Remodeling

Time to Remodel Your Home?

Time to Remodel Your Home? | (480) 710-3861

Home Remodeling is Easy

With the Help of an Architecture Firm

Design Line Architects, LLC is an Arizona based architecture firm.

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

Tenant Improvement

Commercial tenant improvement is something that becomes necessary for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes, additional space is needed, or a room needs to be built that requires a special configuration, like a server room. A commercial tenant improvement project involves items like interior remodeling of an existing office or retail space, upgrades for the current tenant or changes to accommodate a new tenant that may be moving in.

As to why an architect must be called in that’s due to the complexity of modern buildings.  Simply knocking out a wall could be disastrous if one hit a load bearing strut or if the wall itself is load bearing.  One could accidentally rupture a pipe or electrical conduit, or even damage utilities like fiber optics or cabling.

Tenant improvement allows flexibility for a tenant to adapt space to suit their needs while still staying in compliance with structural requirements and applicable city codes.

Calling in an architect is always your best bet for such improvements.

DesignLine Architects is a Gilbert based architecture firm.

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

What is an Architect

An architect is so much more than a designer.  First off, here is a definition of an architect from WIKIPEDIA.ORG:

An architect is a person trained to plan and design buildings, and oversee their construction. To practice architecture means to provide services in connection with the design and construction of buildings and the space within the site surrounding the buildings, that have as their principal purpose human occupancy or use.[1] Etymologically, architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek arkhitekton (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e., chief builder.[2]

Professionally, an architect’s decisions affect public safety, and thus an architect must undergo specialized training consisting of advanced education and a practicum (or internship) for practical experience to earn a license to practice architecture.

To read more of this entry, please visit

In most of the world, only people with appropriate qualifications and licensure may legally practice architecture. To get a license, an architect has to have:

  • An advanced degree from an accredited university
  • Successful completion of state administered exams
  • Successful completion of a training period.

There is a big difference between an architect and a building design professional.  An architect can operate independently of supervision.  A building design professional is someone that can be an architectural technologist, an intern architect, or an engineer but is not directly connected to the architectural process.  Another key thing to know about what an architect does is that sometimes, they are consultants.

Sometimes an architect is hired not to design a structure or building, but to do a feasibility study on a proposed structural improvement or addition.  Sometimes, it is a good idea to have someone outside of a design team take another look at any plans to make sure there’s no problems down the road.

Architects have an eye for detail, and are respected consultants throughout different levels of society.

You can do a lot worse than to call an architect for any improvement projects you may have for your home or business involving structural changes.

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

Case Study – Prescription for a Master Bath Remodel : master bathroom remodel.

Written By Doug Rusk, Architect

Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

When Dawn, a San Francisco Pharmacist, decided to move closer to her grandkids in Chandler, she found an amazing home that was more than what the doctor ordered.   But despite this home’s idyllic location in an exclusive gated Arizona community, Dawn knew that her first move was to renovate her dark, out dated Master Bathroom.

Using a trusted referral for a reputable, licensed contractor, Dawn called Ken from Behrmann Home Basics (BHB) to start work immediately.  Ken knew that a quick hand sketch would help Dawn visualize a few alternate ideas for her Master Bath Remodel.  So he brought in Gilbert Architect Doug Rusk from DESIGNLine Architects to help Dawn make sense of the many design choices available.

With her casual / contemporary styling preference and a flexible budget in mind, Dawn’s main requirement was to remove the Master Bath Tub in order to make room for a large walk-in shower.  Below are pictures of the original Master Bathroom, showing the dated tub/shower combination and two small windows over the vanity.

Master Bath Remodel Architect

Although Doug’s first sketches of Option’s 1 & 2 worked reasonably well (shown above), it was Option #3 (shown below) that Dawn immediately knew was the Master Bathroom renovation she wanted.

Master Bath Remodel Architect

Master Bathroom Remodel – Scope of Work

In addition to removing the Master Bath Tub in order to make room for a large walk-in shower, Dawn wanted the mirrors on the closet doors replaced with a wood paneled door in her Master Bathroom Remodel.  She also wanted an electric hair dryer available to grab at a moment’s notice from one of the drawers under the sink that was already plugged in (SHOWN ABOVE).  For the borders over the shower and the vanity splash, we used colorful glass tile.

Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

Below are pictures taken during the construction phase, showing the framing, plumbing and electrical work inside the walls.  During the short construction phase, the BHB construction team did an amazing job of installing plastic walls with zippers to seal off the construction zone from the main home.

Master Bath Remodel Architect

Chandler Master Bathroom Remodel

About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential design and commercial remodeling for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Phoenix Architecture firm
Doug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona


CASE STUDY– Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

Written By Doug Rusk, Architect

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement

A recent office tenant improvement we performed for a national insurance company showcases a great example of why some businesses are more successful than others.   When you’re an insurance business that focuses all day on helping other businesses and individuals with risk prevention, damage protection and safety & Loss control, it’s no surprise to find they are just as smart at handling their own office tenant improvement in a similar way.

So when Mary, their regional Project Manager, needed a reputable General Contractor for her company’s 2875 SF office tenant improvement project in Mesa, she called Joe Harris, managing partner of AZ Construction, LLC.   Joe’s first move was to confirm this project qualified for the “Permit By Inspection” program offered by the City of Mesa for minor tenant improvements projects.  His second move was to retain Doug Rusk, a principal with DESIGNLine Architects, LLC ASAP, who he knew would make him look good to his client by expediting their design/permit submittal package.  And because our client Mary provided a detailed specification package that described all their project goals, Doug’s design team needed only 21 business days from signed design contract to obtain City approved building permit in order to start construction. And Joe’s team needed only 20 business days from building permit approval to finish construction so the tenant could move in.


And as a result of our team’s continuous communication with the City of Mesa, we discovered that the current drinking fountain code requirement could be reduced to only requiring drink cups next to the break room sink.  So including the plumbing work that would have been required, this saved the client over $1200.

Mesa Office Tenant Improvement – Scope of Work

Overall, the tenant improvement scope of work on this project was relatively straightforward:

– Removed several decorative walls and ceiling elements in the main room.

– Remove the old ceiling work, and replaced with a new 11’-4” high T-bar ceiling, modified layout of lights and mechanical as required.

– Removed glass door wall in order to open up the front entry.

– Built 3 new walls to create one new office and two conference room. Painted Orange contract color on new office walls shown on left in photo above).

– Added all the necessary electrical outlets, power panel updates, lighting and data lines necessary for 12 cubical work stations.

– Updated paint and flooring throughout entire 2875 SF space.


Have you noticed the growing number of unattended office lobbies these days?  In order to create efficiencies in our tenant improvement, we down sized the fancy lobby and instead positioned one of the typical workstations to act as the reception (see image above).

After removing the curved, multi-height ceiling elements and added the new office and conference room (see left side of top picture), we installed a new single height ceiling grid.   We saved $1600 by carefully designing the new ceiling grid and lighting so that we didn’t have to move too many fire sprinkler heads.  Per Mesa Fire Department codes if you relocate no more than 9 fire sprinkler heads, then you will not be required to submit complete fire sprinkler design drawings to the City of Mesa.

Office Tenant Improvement – Location is Key:

So if you’re business will benefit more exposure, consider some of the moves our subject insurance client performed:

Find a prominent corner location on a busy intersection with a gas station next door. – Provides great drive by exposure to drivers waiting at a stop light.

Locate your business between nationally franchised restaurants on one side and a Fed-Ex type postage delivery store on the other side. This will provide continuous walk by traffic that will build familiarity to your brand.

For other great ideas, read this:  Cost Effective Tenant Improvement Ideas


About the Author

Doug Rusk is the principal at DESIGNLine Architects, LLC located in Gilbert, Arizona.  We specialize in residential and commercial tenant improvement for small and medium sized businesses with expertise in space planning and interior design consulting.  We’ll provide your General Contractor a thorough preliminary design packages that will enable an early construction cost estimate to confirm your budget quickly.

Phoenix Architecture FirmDoug Rusk, Architect
DesignLine Architects, LLC
Gilbert, Arizona