The First Phone Call with a Potential Client
Prior to meeting with clients in person and on site, we always recommend an initial phone call to discuss location, project type, scope, timing and budget.
Location - Is the project within a commutable distance that will make our fees (including travel) economical for our clients? We generally try to work on projects within a 30 minute drive or our South Orange, NJ, office or from Branchburg, NJ - home office of our lead designer, Mike Cuttitta.
Project type - Our firm focuses on single-family residential design. We do consider projects that fall outside of this project type, but only if it serves to reinforce our designs. One example was a spa that we worked on in Union County, NJ - the spa required relaxed sitting areas, steam and dry saunas and luxurious soaking tubs and showers. This was a project we took on in order to leverage and grow our experience in our higher-end master bath design.
Scope - given our level of custom design services, our service model may not be the right fit for every client, particularly those who may already know exactly what they want and are simply seeking a professional seal on existing construction drawings. NJ law allows homeowners to draw their own plans as long as the building department in the property's municipality approves the drawings. Our services are more ideally suited to clients who require more customized design.
Timing - Given we are a small firm, we have a finite number of projects that we can service. Depending on a client's needs and our capacity we may be able to begin work immediately, but we may need to schedule the project for a future date.
Budget - Oftentimes an Architect is the first point-of-contact when people are considering new homes, additions or large remodels. Because of this, we may be the first source of getting construction budget numbers. Based solely on past projects, we provide average cost-per-square-foot numbers for remodeling as well as additions and new construction so that potential clients are at least aware of the relative cost of residential construction.
Once we are aligned with our potential client with respect to location, project type, project scope we schedule a site visit to meet with them in person and, in the case of a remodel or addition, view the space that we will be potentially altering.