FAQ(frequently asked questions)
What is the architectural style of seventy2architects?
“While some architects and firms have a specific and strict architectural style, we believe that good design requires the freedom to find the best creative solution for each project's unique challenge. Some projects are a chance for us to make an architectural statement (and we do love those!), but many Addition/Renovation projects are best when our work looks like it was part of the original grand design. We have worked on projects that are historic, modern, contemporary, colonial, commercial, and industrial. It is critical that we separate our design egos from the architectural form: a project is a success when our design solution meets our client's needs.
Will you be working directly with a Principal/Owner Architect, or relegated to a staff member?
“At seventy2architects, a Principal/Owner is involved with each project at every stage, and we commit to giving each project the time and creative attention required for a successful outcome. While larger firms may overbook and move smaller projects to less experienced staff members, at seventy2architects, we carefully schedule our work to ensure that Maura and/or Emmanuel are involved with each project throughout the process.
Should I hire an architect or an engineer?
"In the design process, architects work as an orchestra's conductor. Architects coordinate multiple engineers and sub-consultants which vary from project to project. Our team of pre-qualified consultants may include Landscape Architects, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing Engineers, Structural Engineers, Civil Engineers and Surveyors, Interior Designers, A/V Specialists, Data/IT/Telephone, Furniture Consultants, and others as required by the unique needs of your project. As licensed professionals, we represent our clients’ best interests and will coordinate design services to meet your needs. Maura or Emmanuel will be your single point of contact for the entire design team throughout the design and construction process. We will coordinate the team's work to meet the design vision for your project.
What is the difference between Construction Managers and General Contractors?
"General Construction (GC) and Construction Management (CM) are different services offered by builders - the same people with "different hats". General Contractors are builders in the traditional model: design-bid-build. Architects and engineers fully develop design drawings with a client; completed drawings ("blueprints") are issued for bid, or pricing, to multiple builders; bidders submit lump-sum costs to the client; the client engages the lowest bidder for construction. All subcontractors are selected by the GC, and all costs of materials and labor are private to the GC only. The Construction Manager model is the model we use most at seventy2architects. Our client will typically interview 2 or 3 recommended builders, and these builders submit their fees for CM services to the client: this may be a fixed fee, hourly rates, or a percentage of construction cost. The CM works with the architect and client during the design phase to ensure that the design is on track with the client's budget. Once design drawings are finished, the CM bids the drawings to client-approved subcontractors. All bids are reviewed with the client and Architect - "open book" - all prices are shared with the team. All construction costs - material, labor, fees, insurance - are on the table and open for discussion. Because the CM can apply for a building permit concurrent with bidding, and because the design has been set on track to meet the client's budget, this process can often save several months on the project timeline. Most of our clients appreciate the open-book and collaborative nature of the CM model, as well as the control over the budget and selection of personnel/subcontractors.
Can you help us find a contractor?
"Yes! The Construction phase is critical to your project's success: our design ideas must be properly executed by a qualified and reputable builder. We work with multiple excellent contractors, with staff to best meet the needs of a variety of projects. Whether your construction budget is $50 thousand or $40 million, we are happy to introduce you to excellent builders on our pre-qualified list of General Contractors and Construction Managers.
Do I need a building permit? Why?
"All construction projects need a building permit. Building Inspectors and Fire Marshals are in place to protect the public from dangerous construction work. We have heard of projects where structural walls or posts were accidentally removed, where lead paint was disturbed in houses with young children, where new windows did not meet fire-egress requirements. A reputable contractor will always work with a building permit. When in doubt, call your town's building department to learn more about when permits are required. Maura is a licensed Building Official in the State of Connecticut: we are happy to help with your project permitting and answer any Code questions. right off the line, I can say seventy2architects listened to me and came up with a design that exceeded my expectations. Maura's recommendations for a builder to perform the job again were perfect. I am extremely happy with your performance, and will definitely ask seventy2architects to aid in further renovations to my house."
How do I choose an architect?
The design process is a relationship. Select an architect that you can "connect" with - interpersonal chemistry is very important. You'll work closely with your architect to design your new space, and our relationship will begin at the schematic design phase and continue through the construction phase. Be sure to contact your architect's references to learn more about their past working relationship: at seventy2architects, our business is built on relationships and repeat clients/client referrals to friends and associates. We are proud members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), which requires extensive continuing education and enforces a code of ethics and professional conduct.
The AIA website offers more information about working with an architect: