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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
http://designlinearchitects.com

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Hiring a Commercial Architect in Phoenix (Conclusion)

A commercial architect is a licensed professional who can help build your business to your specifications, whether that business is a new building or an existing one.

As we covered previously, to get a building built, by Arizona law, your project must involve an architect. This is to help protect public safety, as well as code compliance and other vital considerations. An architect also knows about structural limitations, and what will or will not work when the building is completed. Without an architect, you could end up with a building that has a lot of glare from the sun, making seeing a computer screen or keeping your building cool a distinct challenge.

An architect in Phoenix can help you with a wide variety of architectural projects either big or small. | 480-710-3861

An architect in Phoenix can help you with a wide variety of architectural projects either big or small. | 480-710-3861

What About Remodeling an Existing Building? Call a Commercial Architect For That Too

Why do you need an architect when all you are doing is remodeling your existing floor plans?  Well, here’s an example of what can go wrong.  Let’s say you want to get rid of all of the high-walled cubicles and even some of the office space so you have a big open floor, essentially an open office.

Well, as the Washington Post article “Google got it wrong. The open-office trend is destroying the workplace.” by Lindsay Kaufman shows, open office design is a really bad idea:

“Despite its obvious problems, the open-office model has continued to encroach on workers across the country. Now, about 70 percent of U.S. offices have no or low partitions, according to the International Facility Management Association. Silicon Valley has been the leader in bringing down the dividers. Google, Yahoo, eBay, Goldman Sachs and American Express are all adherents. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enlisted famed architect Frank Gehry to design the largest open floor plan in the world, housing nearly 3,000 engineers. And as a businessman, Michael Bloomberg was an early adopter of the open-space trend, saying it promoted transparency and fairness. He famously carried the model into city hall when he became mayor of New York, making “the Bullpen” a symbol of open communication and accessibility to the city’s chief.

A 2013 study found that many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poorer work performance.” [READ SOURCE]

Employee feelings aside, let’s say you get a bit too happy with the open office, and accidentally cut into a wall that is load bearing.  You have just damaged the structure of your building, and it could come down. An architect could stop that from happening.

Avoid Dangerous Changes:  Hire a Commercial Architect Instead

All of this could easily have been avoided during the consultation process.  A commercial architect would tell you what could go wrong.

So choose carefully.  Remodel the smart way, your employees are happy, and you’re happy.  Remodel the wrong way, and any illusions you have about efficiency vanish as your employees start deserting your company.  How do you remodel the right way?  Call a commercial architect in Phoenix.

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DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
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Architects and Architectural Design Part 1: Architectural Styles

Part one of a series on architects and architectural design focuses on architectural styles.

What is Architectural Style?

Architectural Style is a Fusion of Form and Function | 480-710-3861

According to this excerpt from Wikipedia.Org, “An architectural style is characterized by the features that make it notable. A style may include such elements as form, method of construction, materials, and regional character. Most architecture can be classified as a chronology of styles which changes over time reflecting changing fashions, beliefs and religions, or the emergence of new ideas, technology or materials which make new styles possible. Styles therefore emerge from the history of a society and are documented in the subject of architectural history. At any time several styles may be fashionable, and when a style changes it usually does so gradually, as architects learn and adapt to new ideas. The new style is sometimes only a rebellion against an existing style, such as post-modernism (means “after modernism”) which has in recent years found its own language and split into a number of styles with other names. [READ MORE]

All architecture is a combination of form and function.  Some architecture has become iconic.  Look at the Eiffel Tower in Paris and the Empire State Building in New York. One key axiom of modern architecture is that form is secondary to function. In other words, the architect must design a building that does what it supposed to.  A library for example has different needs than say a data center or a fine arts museum

The Balancing Act: An Architect and the Roles He Plays

An architect does more than just create some blueprints.  Usually an architect is involved at every stage of the process, and can be an administrator, a financial expert, and other areas that people don’t realize.  Our next article will explore these roles in more depth.

And what of architectural style? Remember, that unless you have given an architect carte blanche, you will always have the final say of how your building is going to look.

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

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Tenant Improvement Architects and Your Building Part 1

Tenant improvement architects can help commercial property owners effectively allocate their buildings based upon the needs of the tenants.  Look at the scenario of a retail property.

Post Modern Architecture and the 21st Century

Phoenix Architecture Firms

Tenant Improvement Architect Doug Rusk | 480-710-3861

One of our clients, we’ll call him John, owns a shopping plaza that was built in the early 70’s.  The wiring is up to date, and there’s even Wi-Fi.  However, one of his higher paying tenants wants to expand their store space from 1200 square feet to 2400 square feet.  He was all in favor of it, until the client started discussing knocking down walls.  John fortunately was wise enough to call us for his tenant improvement architectural project. 

It isn’t just for building permits and load-bearing walls that you want to call in a tenant improvement architect, however.  We were able to tell the client which walls weren’t load bearing, as well as help them to navigate the process of building permits with the city.  We were able to recommend builders and everyone was happy with the end result.  John was lucky, because the building was sound.  We’ve had some clients where the retail space was considerably older, and in one notable case was even listed as historically significant, meaning that the bureaucratic process was even more convoluted and elaborate.

The Importance of Hiring a Tenant Improvement Architect

As tenant improvement architects, we know that it is often not possible to change much in the structure of a historical building.  We had a client find out that the hard way.  She bought a beauty salon that was in a historical district of Phoenix.  She called in a builder to knock out a wall, put in a picture window, and thought nothing of it…until the fines and cease and desist orders started coming in the mail.  Seems that there was an ordinance about modifying the building.

She had to pay to restore it back to the way it was, and it was then she called us.  We were able to keep her costs down, and get her back into compliance with the city.  So, as you see, it is a good idea to call in a tenant improvement architect in Phoenix at the start of a project, not at the end.

This concludes part one of our series on tenant improvement architects.  Please be sure to read part two of this series as well.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

 

 

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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
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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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
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Hiring an Architect: What You Need to Know Part 2

Part two of our series about hiring a custom home design architect continues with time frames as well as other things you need to know before you begin.

How Much Time Will Your Home Remodeling Project Need?

Custom Home Design Architect Phoenix | 480-710-3861

A good rule of thumb is to shoot for at least one month to create all the construction drawings you’ll need, then two months after that for the city to review your home remodeling project and to pick your contractors.

Then you add in construction time.  Depending on complexity, this may take up to six months.  So for a complete custom home remodeling, you’re looking at a year to safe, and in some cases, the project may take up to 24 months.  While this sounds like a long time, without an architect it can be worse.

Keeping on Track With Your Budget With a Custom Home Architect

You want an architect that will pin down a question that is front and center for most people:  how much it will cost.  First off, know your budget and design goals.  When the final project is bid to the subcontractors, the costs are locked in, assuming no design changes. And that’s something that often makes costs skyrocket.

If you have your kitchen designed and then decide that the refrigerator isn’t big enough, and you want a walk in fridge, it will cause changes to the structural design, and thus increase the price.  So, you want to make sure that you get all the design elements you want on paper before you even call an architect in.

Good design is based on input.  Without your input, you are not getting the home you want.  You are getting a home that you’re settling for, and that’s never a good idea.  So know what you want, know how much it costs, and get a hold of the right personnel: a custom home design architect in Phoenix.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

 

<———– Previous Article

 

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Hiring an Architect: What You Need to Know Part 1

There are several things you need to do before you hire an architect in Mesa.  This article will explore what you will need, and what questions you have to ask.

Your Lifestyle and a Custom Home Design Architect

Hire a Custom Home Design Architect | 480-710-3861

First off, you know your lifestyle as well as your tastes better than anyone else.  If you like English Tudor architecture, then Modern Southwest would not be a good fit.  You may want to start getting some pictures together of various homes that are close to what you’re looking for.  However, it isn’t just the visual you’ll need to know before you call in an architectural firm.

You want to know how many rooms you’re going to need.  A family of seven has far different needs than a dual income couple without children.  If you’re redesigning an existing home, you want a list of goals in place when you meet with a professional custom home architect.  You also need to have a list of personnel you’re going to need for the project such as a plumber, an electrician, and a landscaper for example.   Whoever you hire in addition to the architect needs to be in the loop, even during the design process.

Keeping On Schedule and Under Budget With an Architect

Your builder or general contractor should be involved as they’ll keep you both on or under budget, and help you to stay on schedule with your custom home design project.  Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in the nightmare zone for home upgrades and renewals, namely the standard: “It should only take two weeks.”  What a lot of design professionals don’t tell you is that the two weeks they mention is measured in football minutes, not in regular time.  In other words, your two week project may actually be nine weeks.  In fact, anyone who gives you a two week time window is probably not being honest with you.

Actual times may vary, however, just for design and construction drawings you need at least one to three months.  The next part of this article series will explore some more time frames you need to be aware of before you meet with a custom home design architect in Phoenix.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

Next Article———>

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Designing a Custom Home in Phoenix

Designing a custom home in Phoenix is not for everyone.  Some people prefer the simplicity of a pre-built home, and in some cases these designs may fit the needs of a customer perfectly. However, other customers may have some specific needs that an existing design cannot meet…

Options For a Custom Home Design

People never have the same exact needs which is where a custom home design architect comes in.  While some basic ones are fairly well established, others require a bit of adaptation.  For example, if you are quadriplegic or have another disability or handicap, a home that is split level or that doesn’t include ramps of some kind would not be a good idea.

Custom Home Design | 480-710-3861

If you are someone who loves to cook and throw dinner parties that your friends remember for years to come, then having a tiny kitchen with inadequate burners and a tiny refrigerator is also not a good fit.  So what’s to be done?  Well, you can either begin an exhaustive search for a home that perfectly matches your wish list which may take months or even years, or you can call in a custom home design architect.

When you sit down with an architect, you’re going to come in prepared with a list of ‘must-haves.’  During this process, he’s going to be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t work.  Some ideas may cause the structure of the home to be put in danger, and others involving light may have to be moved because of the placement of shade features.

Why an Architect Though?  Shouldn’t I Just Call a Home Builder?

This is why you get an architect in.  He will know exactly what to do, what permits you need, and the best ways to go about your project.  And his hands aren’t bound by a corporate office somewhere.

A home builder, even one billing themselves as a custom home builder has to follow some rules that are in addition to the ones enforced by the city.  Usually a corporate office regulates what a home builder can add, usually based on a package deal, and they will not let you do things that are not on the list.  A custom home design architect can make a wide range of additions that aren’t covered by traditional home builders, while still staying within structural laws and building codes.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Custom Home Designs: It Really is About You

A custom home design helps you to be an individual.  Despite a lot of home builders attempts to change it, America is a land of individuals.  Our choices in our decor, our plants, our pets and even our spouses and partners are reflections on us.

Designing a Custom Home:  Another Home Buying Approach

Get Custom Home Design | 480-710-3861

Let’s face it.  Finding the perfect home is a lot harder than we think.  We gravitate towards the homes we afford, while at the same time, we want this home to fit our needs.  We want to settle into a home, not settle for one.  If you like split level modern and you settle for a 1950’s ranch style, then no matter how you try to sugarcoat it, you will not be happy with your home.  That’s where a custom home design architect can help you.  First off, though, know what you want.

Maybe you need a split walk in closet or a game room.  Maybe you want a big kitchen, with an island in the middle.  Perhaps you’d like a private home office that is your space.  Whatever needs you have, it’s a good idea to have an idea of what you want before you call an architect.

Brainstorm Then Call in Your Architect

The first step you want to do is to dream when you are planning to design a custom home for your family. When you brainstorm, remember, that isn’t the time to criticize ideas.  You have nothing but options, and visualize what you want. Later on, after you have built up a good list of ideas, that’s when you start reviewing each idea.  Remember, you want something that will improve your quality of life, and be easy to keep up.

While the kid in you wants a castle complete with lookout towers and secret passageways, the adult in you knows about things like building codes and practicality.  Then after you winnow it down, you call in an expert with custom home design.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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Home Remodeling: Get a Professional In

Do you want to remodel your home?  Well, before you start, there are several steps you should take first.

Consult an Architect for Home Remodeling

Need a Home Remodel | Call an Architect | 480-710-3861

There are a lot of pitfalls that you can run into as a homeowner.  First off, successful home remodeling is based on decisions, and planning.  First off, it may be a good idea to have a good idea of what you like.  You may want to gather some pictures both of spaces you like as well as buildings.  Next, know your budget.  If you have about $10,000 to spend, and the estimates on how much  it will cost to remodel are at about $50,000, then you obviously have a shortfall.

An architect can help you with this as he can also help with scheduling, so if necessary you can do your project in phases. However, it isn’t just your budget you need to be aware of.  You also have to stay within the law.

Navigate the Permit Process with Ease: Call an Architect

Don’t forget the permits! You ask yourself, “Do I really need permits?” If you plan to move any plumbing, electrical or move bearing walls, your municipalities’ building department requires you to submit construction drawings for building permit approval. And some cities like Scottsdale and Phoenix offer expedited permit processing. Not only can an architectural firm like ours provide the design and construction drawings, we will submit them for you and work with the municipality to get them approved as quickly as possible. Designline Architects uses a proven design process that ensures that each project provides continuous communication and collaboration between our clients and our firm.

Just this service alone makes an architect invaluable.  If you try to navigate the permit process on your own, be prepared for a lot of red tape and frustration.

So know what you like and what you don’t.  Make sure all of your permits are in order and your fees are paid.  And get the help of an architect in Phoenix.

DesignLine Architects, LLC
470 E. Canyon Creek Court ,
Gilbert, AZ 85295
480-710-3861
http://www.designlinearchitects.com

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