The Initial Consultation

Upon first contact, Paredes-Grube Architecture will schedule an appointment for the Initial Consultation – the first meeting to discuss your needs and the requirements of your project in detail.
For residential clients, this meeting takes place at your home and should involve all family members who will participate in the decision-making process.

The Initial Consultation typically includes the following:
  • Listen to the client’s needs, wants and goals.
  • Walk through the house to understand the existing layout, the flow and functionality of the home.
  • View the rooflines and understand the framing and structure of the house.
  • Identify special features, unusual conditions or other limitations pertaining to the potential project.
  • Review the homeowner’s survey and comment on preliminary zoning issues and requirements.
  • Discuss potential for expansion and renovation.
  • Discuss design ideas and options. (No drawings at this stage)
  • Discuss the construction budget & time of construction.
  • Discuss the Client’s schedule and the timing and duration of the design process.
  • Review our portfolio of completed projects.

*For the Initial Consultation, we will require a copy of the survey to retain for our use.
Frequently Asked Questions
What information or documents should I have ready when I meet with Xiomara for the Initial Consultation?
Please make sure that you have:
  • A copy of your property survey that has not been reduced or faxed (which distorts the scale of the document).
  • A written or mental list of your needs and priorities, discussed and agreed-upon with your spouse or partner in advance.
  • Any sample photos or drawings from magazines or other sources that show style, details, or other ideas that you wish to incorporate within your project. Houzz.com and their “ideabook” feature is a great resource to use to find inspirational photos and ideas.

Should my spouse/partner be at the Consultation?
We strongly recommend that all parties involved in the decision making process (husband, wife, partners, and occasionally seniors living in the household) be at the Consultation. We cover a lot of ground in that first meeting, from design to construction budget to zoning concerns, and it is most efficient to avoid repeating that effort. Where a second Consultation is required, we charge for that time.

Other architects do not charge for their Initial Consultations – Why do you?
We typically invest at least one and one half hours of our time at your home and another hour in the office to make the Initial Consultation a valuable service that provides potential clients with our creative verbal design ideas, options, a wide range of information on the construction process, a real understanding of project costs, and preliminary comments on zoning issues. People seek us for the high quality of our architectural services and our years of experience in the residential field. If you do decide to work with us, we credit the initial consultation fee towards the preliminary design fees stated in the proposal.

How long in advance should you contact an architect?
For a typical project, you should contact an architect 6 - 9 months in advance, (depending on the size of the project) before the desired start date of construction, or about 12 months ahead of when you want construction to be complete. Any project that will require a zoning variance may delay the whole process 2-3 months.

Other FAQs

The most important question of all. How do you pronounce your name?
We offer several suggestions: “See-O-Mara”, “C. O’Mara”, or “See You Tomorrow” said really fast! :)

Member of the American Institute of Architects