Although professional fees may seem high at face value, a large portion of that fee is often offset by our ability to address potential issues early in the process and to provide practical, cost effective solutions. Furthermore, we have relationships with contractors, consultants and vendors who have proven to be proficient and trustworthy on past projects. Our role during construction is to ensure the project is built according to specifications and industry standards. If a dispute arises, we can act as an impartial mediator between owner and contractor. Professional affiliations are also important. For example, an architect with the AIA designation is held to the highest ethical standards with the most rigorous continuing education requirements.
The Self-Certification Permit Program, commonly referred to as "Self-Cert", simplifies the building permit process for eligible residential, business, and mercantile projects where the registered self-certification professional (Mindy Viamontes) takes full responsibility for code compliance. The Department of Buildings plan reviews are eliminated by allowing the registered self-certification professional to certify that the permit drawings comply with the Chicago Construction Codes. The self-certification professional must prepare and seal the permit drawings and submit them to the city using the E-Plan system.
Our practice is not driven by ego. We take pride in our ability to adapt to varying client needs and personalities. In the age of social media, content that stands out is king. However, we are not interested in the perfect photo shoot. A solution that does not fit the clients’ needs is inadequate regardless of how perfect it looks on a magazine cover.
The creative process varies greatly depending on project scope and the clients’ personality. We never start a project with a specific idea or style in mind. We get to know our clients and take cues from their lifestyle to arrive at the big picture ideas. To convey those ideas, we use hand sketches, 3d models, and precedent images. We also put together mood boards with physical samples of materials and finishes to help our clients visualize the design intent.