Why commission foxleyarchitecture?

foxleyarchitecture provides all clients full time personal principal involvement.
foxleyarchitecture provides award winning design services + efficient green building philosophy since 1992.
foxleyarchitecture’s communication is typically instantaneous or addressed within twenty-four hours by an informed principal.
foxleyarchitecture provides references to confirm current and prior client satisfaction.
foxleyarchitecture utilizes proprietary software to provide adaptive visualization.
foxleyarchitecture provides flexible scope and fee structures.
foxleyarchitecture maintains low overhead and has provided competitive fees since 2002

What is your design philosophy?

foxleyarchitecture’s design approach is unique to each design challenge due to specific nature of each site and program, but all are inspired by context, climate and clients. Clients are encouraged to consider design possibilities only after a complete needs assessment program has been documented. An informed, intelligent, inspired design will appear predetermined. The amount of research effort focused and invested in stating the design problem is proportional to how seemingly inevitable the resulting design appears. Good design therefore will appear inevitable rather than ‘designed’ in the vernacular. Our mission is to make the design process linear and transparent so that it can be fully attended, appreciated, funded, leveraged and implemented.

What is your fee?

Fees depend on:
1. Level of professional service involvement; basic,standard or comprehensive, e.g. scope of design services, concept to completion.
2. Desired construction quality and overall construction cost.
Both will be considered to determine fee. Some volume production architects and home designers charge on a per square foot basis, but that is too simplistic for custom homes or complex commercial or remodel projects. Fees can be structured as fixed fee with a defined scope of services, on a hourly time card basis, as a percentage of the estimated-certified construction cost, or some combination at the client’s request. It is appropriate to use a percentage of construction cost as a guide only for a standard level of full services.

Do you accept credit cards?

Accepted payments are cash, check, or a secure online paypal account is available if a credit card payment is preferred.

What is 'level of construction quality'?

Commercial construction quality varies from metal building warehouses (low) to high-rise buildings are usually ‘class A’ construction (high). The cost per square foot of construction is a better gauge. Higher cost of finishes and more sophisticated structures require more detailed documentation.
For single family homes, a good gauge is USG level of drywall finish from tract homes, level 1 to high end custom homes, Level 5.

Why does construction cost effect fee estimation?

Historical national data reveals that there is a close correlation. This helps early estimate accuracy; of the bulk of total fees, the range is typically10 -15% of material and labor ('hard construction' cost).  There are some efficiencies of scale in large projects that will reduce the fee percentage, and minimum required documentation elements that will raise the percentage in smaller projects.

What is the scope of design services?

Both level and duration of services desired. Level refers to baseline, standard, or comprehensive design services. Duration defines which phases of a project design professionals are involved. The earlier and longer involved, generally the more cohesive the project and the project cost is managed better.

How soon can you start?

Your project can be initiated immediately.
Generally there is some backlog of production deliverables, but a proposed schedule for your project will be provided within a week with estimated durations included in a contract.

What is needed to start my project?

A retainer-deposit and/or a signed contract is all that is needed to start.
A retainer-deposit in the amount of two weeks of full time commitment of the architect and/or a simple plain english two page agreement that references industry standard documents.

What are the phases of a project?

The construction industry defines the phases of a project as:
Pre-design: Site evaluation, code review, programming etc.
Schematic design: When plans are schematic in nature and only indicate essential relationships of proposed spaces. Exterior elevations and possibly full building sections are provided to convey spatial concepts.
Bidding and Negotiation: this may happen at incrementally at any time once drawings start being produced.
Design development: Historically the poorest defined phase, when plans are developed with various levels of additional detail.
Construction drawings: When Building design intent is most fully documented including details schedules and coordinating engineering trades for review by governing bodies and final pricing and/or general contractor bids.
Project administration: Once construction has started; may include site reports, additional drawings/sketches and written clarifications, RFIs RFCs: Requests for information or clarifications, sample submittal, mock-up reviews etc.

What are additional services?

Any professional design service needed or requested in addition to standard scope of services as defined by industry standards. They are usually only provided when scope and fees are agreed to in advance. They may include services like Campus Master planning, As-built documentation, Historical preservation documentation, furniture design, LEED certification etc.

Is every project on the website designed by foxleyarchitecture?

All projects represented were significantly, if not wholly designed and/or contributed to by an employee currently employed by foxleyarchitecture
See credits for more detail.

Are the physical drawings included in the fees?

Not usually, but it can be contracted that way. The printed drawings, delivery fees, plotting, etc., are typically billed at actual vendor cost plus a reasonable percentage to cover handling time, financial obligation and administrative costs. 

Do I really need an architect?

Maybe not, commercial projects and publicly accessible projects are almost always required to be produced under the authority of and sealed by and architect. A home designer or draftsperson may be all you need. Home construction is generally not required by governing authorities to have an architect sign and seal drawings. An engineer will likely need to design and seal at least the foundation depending on the location. However, architects are specially trained to add value to any project with unique skill and talent sets, individual and varied.

Do I really need a general contractor?

Probably so, they are recommended. There are so many unforeseen issues in a one time, unique, site specific building project, having one responsible source of coordination is very much worth the percent of construction cost general contractors charge.

What is going to impact my schedule the most?

Possibly zoning, utility, building and/or fire code review and approvals. Government entities generally are less nimble than private professional services and have time specific processes for approvals. Also, changes to program, scope of work, or design later in the process will be a schedule challenge. Client-architect communication; early often and specific is the best strategy for avoiding delays and why this FAQs page exists.

what is required to get a permit?

In the city of Houston there are many requirements listed here: https://edocs.publicworks.houstontx.gov/documents/divisions/planning/enforcement/commercial_permitting_101_presentation.pdf

https://www.houstonpermittingcenter.org/building-code-enforcement.html

Why don’t you specialize in one building type?

Varied project types require a range of expertise and keep design strategies and product awareness fresh. Once a particular project type is in a firm’s portfolio it is considered qualified for that building or service type. Maintaining project diversity also aids in adaptation to changing markets. Architectural certification and foxleyarchitecture’s brand are both broad.

What are your objectives?

Communicate. Precise and timely communication of team members is essential. Visually precise documents detail intent.
Seek problems. The more real constraints that inform a design the greater the degree of accomplishment design can achieve. Encourage full investigation and disclosure of all goals and constraints financial, physical, etc..
Raise aspirations. Resist novelty, style-based norms or ‘design by committee’. Break the positive feedback loop, where buildings are produced that appeal to the least common denominator of the general public’s collective aesthetic aspirations.
Respond to climate as form giver. Incorporate testable strategies and respond to climate by expanding on indigenous solutions. Resist preconceived, obsolete or transplanted architectural styles and vocabularies. Once criteria are established, material appropriateness and selection are virtually pre determined. Rooted in physical constraints, transcend mere shelter* Provide inherent subjective and objective value, that is what makes it architecture*.
Architecture by definition should incorporate and express current building technologies

What questions do you have for me?  

Please contact me at foxleyarchitecture.

Will you invest time in your project by providing written responses to the questions below?

What will define success for your project?
Are you willing to participate in developing a written program or problem statement for your project?
What experiences if any (design or project process) would you like to replicate?
What experiences would you like to avoid?
Where is your project located: address, zoning and tax jurisdictions?
Do you own the property?
Do you have a meets and bounds survey of the property?
What aspects of the property are important to your project?
When do you want to start and finish the project?
What is your total project budget and budget for professional fees?
Will you need drawings to solicit or secure financing?
Will you commit to your project’s viability by providing a retainer-deposit?

All information provided above is for general information purposes only and may be edited, retracted or supplemented at any time.

Please submit comments, questions, clarifications or recommendations to foxleyarchitecture.