Architect :: Altoona, PA :: Frequently Asked Questions

Original. Inspired. Unique.


Building Design and Construction

  • How long will it take to design my building or house?

    When designing something as complex as a building, it is wise to spend time thoughtfully considering your options, so that you are comfortable with all aspects of the project before committing the resources required for construction. A careful approach yields fewer surprises during construction, making the process smoother, more orderly, and ultimately less costly.

    For larger projects, design can take a year or two. For smaller projects, design can take six to eight months.

    Sometimes residential clients will call us in the spring, anticipating that their project will be designed and built in the same year. Unfortunately, this is not realistic. We recommend that you contact us no later than the fall so we have enough time to design, document, and bid your project in time for a spring construction start.

  • How long will construction take?

    Our experience tells us that construction typically takes about the same amount of time that it took to design the project. For larger projects, construction can take a year or two. For smaller projects, we have found that construction takes at least five to six months, once the contractor is mobilized on site.

  • How much will my project cost?

    For commercial and institutional projects, we recommend you budget $150 - $375 per square foot for construction costs, depending on the building type. For residential projects, we recommend you budget a minimum of $200 per square foot for construction costs. These figures will be revised once we know more about your project.

  • How much will you charge?

    Our design fees depend upon the services you will need us to perform for you, and what other consultants may be required to properly design your building. Although they are not charged this way, our fees usually range from 6 - 15% of the construction costs, depending upon building type and the desired services.

  • What difference do you make on a project?

    Architects offer creative ideas and are trained technically. When you have a competent architect on your team, it is more likely that you will get a building suited to your needs, of higher quality than conventional construction, and with unique features. With your architect's help, it is more likely you will know what you will be getting before construction begins, have a realistic idea of how much your project will cost, and understand how long it will take to build. It is also more likely you will be happy with the result.