Why hire an Architect?
Architects are specially educated and trained to help you define what and where you want to build; present creative options that you may have never considered and work toward creating a higher return on you investment. Much like your financial advisor, you are trusting us with one of your largest assets. We, at Tokarski Millemann, take that seriously. We treat each project as if it were our own. Creating total environments, both interior and exterior, that are functional and exciting places in which to work, live, and play is our passion. Architects represent you (the owner) by protecting your interests and assisting in guiding you through the complex processes of construction. Tokarski Millemann Architects is a member of the American Institute for Architects (AIA). AIA Architects remain current with professional standards through continuing education and subscribe to a code of ethics and professional conduct that assure all parties of their dedication to high standards in professional practice.
It takes Time, Creativity, Passion and Excellence to create excellent architecture. Time is a necessity for the creative process. Time allows for exploring possibilities, producing quality work and for maintaining relationships. Each project is treated individually because each client and project is unique. We endeavor to find a creative solution every time we embark on a new project. We are motivated by a passion to use our gifts and talents to create great architecture that makes our client's dreams come true. We strive for excellence in every aspect of our practice from our first meeting with you until you move in.
Initial Meeting and Proposal
We will meet with you to discuss your project and define the scope of work for your project. This is typically done at our office; however, some projects require a site visit to be fully understood. During our first meeting, you will get to know us and we will educate you as to the value we can bring to the project. This meeting can range from thirty to ninety minutes depending on the project. We will discuss the team of people necessary to make your project a success. This will include the Architect and may include engineers, landscape architects, surveyors, interior designers, kitchen designers, audio-visual designers, millwork designers and fabricators, artists, contractors, construction managers and trade craftsmen. Our network of resources will help get the right people on board to make your project a success. We will show you how we will walk you through the design and construction process. Your budget will be reviewed against the proposed scope of work to determine if adequate or if they need to be adjusted. A proposal outlining the project, all the steps necessary to complete your project successfully and our fees is then drafted and sent to you for your consideration. You will receive a follow up call to answer any questions you may have before proceeding. Our fees can be structured in various way depending on your project scope and comfort level:
- Fixed Fee / Stipulated Sum
- Percent of Construction Cost
- or a hybrid of the above, applying a different fee structure to different phases of the project.
Essentially fees are based on the amount of time it will take to design and document the project to a quality level unparalleled by other firms. Upon your acceptance of our proposal, we will start the Schematic Design Phase.
Once an initial consultation has taken place, the architect’s proposal has been accepted and you provide a survey of the property, a zoning analysis is conducted to determine compliance with local ordinances. At this stage, we determine if a variance is required. The architect will then review your program and budget requirements before beginning the Schematic Design work. The completed Schematic Design drawings usually consist of floor plans and exterior elevations. Once these preliminary designs are completed, they are presented to you allowing you to see how the spaces are laid out, how large they will be, and how the spaces will flow from one room to another. The architect will review and discuss the design with you to make any necessary revisions. 3D renderings, scale models and computer-generated models can also be used to help you understand and visualize the design. Preliminary geotechnical and structural investigations would also be performed at this stage. Soil borings may need to be provided in order to determine the soil bearing capacity. In the case of an addition, a footing-foundation excavation will need to be performed to determine an existing footing's adequacy for an addition. The team of professionals necessary for the sucessful execution of your project is assembled. We will assist in selection and coordination of landscape architects, interior designers, engineers, kitchen designers, lighting designers, audio-video-security consultants, millwork designers and fabricators, construction professionals and craftsmen necessary for your project. This phase culminates with a Schematic Design Cost Estimate to make sure the project is within budget.
This phase refines the approved Schematic Designs. We discuss the project’s design, materials, and options in greater detail. The Architect will review with you the structural, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, fire protection, audio-video, automation and security systems; along with the selections of finishes, moldings, trim, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures and special design elements. We will coordinate with other design professionals involved in the project. The Schematic Design Cost Estimate will be updated to include additional information regarding design decisions and any changes to the scope or quality of the project.
The project's completed set of construction documents are what most people know as “blueprints”. These drawings will document the design decisions made and the work to be done by the contractor for the project using drawings, technical details, notes and specifications. These drawings are a detailed set of instructions. They will be used by the contractors to provide bids, submitted to the building department to obtain building permits; and used at the project site as the plan for the construction of your project. The more detailed and coordinated the plans are, the less questions the building department and contractors will have in construction. It also means the less likelihood of a change order coming from your contractor. This is why Tokarski Millemann Architects spends the time and effort to provide detailed, comprehensive, coordinated construction documents. Don't fall into the trap of a low priced set of drawings. One change order can we exceed the price difference between architects. All drawings are not created equal. Ask us to show you the TMA difference.
We can assist you with identifying qualified, skilled and reliable contractors to bid on your project. As an additional service, TMA can prepare bid packages to make sure all contractors fully understand what they are responsible for on the project and to outline the process and requirements of the contract. We will then collect all bids, analyze them and provide you with a summary and our recommendations. Our firm can assist with authoring AIA construction contracts between you and your contractor to make sure your interests and assets are protected.
During construction, Tokarski Millemann Architects can assist you with managing your project. We answer all requests for information from the contractor in a timely fashion. During this phase we review shop drawing submittals for conformance with the design intent and construction documents. Depending on the project, we can perform scheduled site observations to keep you up to date on your project and endeavor to insure that the project is being built to our high standards. We also offer construction management services if a more hands-on approach is desired.