Congratulations on making this exciting decision.

In many cases (particularly in NYC) a licensed architect is required in order to secure necessary building permits and sign Department of Building application forms. However, many people choose to hire an architect even when not strictly required, as an architect can help to optimize the design and space, speed the process of renovation and construction and keep down costs.

An architect is a trained and licensed building professional who offers invaluable expertise and guidance throughout the renovation or new construction process. They will help you layout and plan your construction project, assisting you in understanding what is legally and spatially possible. They will propose ideas you may not have realized were possible for your property, and will also assist you in selecting a palette of finishes that complements the overall design.

An architect also assists with cost control and can offer suggestions and ideas to help you meet your budget. During construction, they will act as your representative in dealings with the general contractor, ensuring that the design is built per your expectations and to code. Via regular site meetings with the client and the general contractor, the architect helps to keep the schedule on track. The architect also maintains a close eye on the project as it gets built in order to ensure that it is well constructed and that costs don’t escalate above the client’s budget.

In New York City, you will also most likely need a licensed architect or engineer to file for Department of Building permit approvals on your behalf. If you are only doing minor work that is mostly cosmetic and doesn’t involve moving any structural walls, relocating or adding plumbing or gas fixtures or changing the occupancy of the building, then you may not need a DOB permit to undertake renovation work. If you are adding a bathroom, taking down a structural wall to open up a living and dining room or adding a deck, then you will definitely need approval from the City.

For a full understanding of what sorts of work do and don’t require a DOB or Landmarks permit in New York City, please feel free to reach out to us via phone or email to understand what’s required for your project in further detail.

You may also visit the City’s websites listed below to gain a better understanding of what types of work need a permit:

NYC Buildings Home Owner Permit 
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Permit Types

The short answer is: as early on in the project as possible. It’s also helpful to reach out to an architect to get an initial idea of construction and permit costs before you feel you are completely ready to begin the design process. This way you can have a better idea of what a realistic budget and timeframe is for your project and can begin to plan accordingly.

It’s also great to get input and feedback from general contractors early on in the planning phase, but they are not equipped to understand your design needs the same way an architect is. They are also not always up-to-date with what the DOB will require in terms of the filing process. Architects have a wealth of expertise that spans design, approvals, budgeting and construction methods that is generally unrivalled by other building professionals.

 

Contrary to what you may have heard, architects can actually help to keep the overall costs of a project down. Due to their knowledge of construction methods, sources for affordable finishes and efficient ways to design, an architect will work with you to help you meet your construction budget. They also act on your behalf when negotiating with bidding contractors, checking their bid documents carefully to ensure they have not overlooked an element that needs to be included or questioning costs that seem unnecessarily high.

At Studio Officina, we also strive to produce pricing and construction drawings that are a thorough and detailed reflection of what needs to be built. This way, the bidding contractors are able to provide pricing documents that are a realistic and accurate representation of the cost to undertake your renovation. This is a key way to avoid change orders during construction as it helps to avoid surprises or disappointments on site once the project gets underway.

Renovating and building can be stressful, even if you have done it before. It involves significant expenditure, possibly relocating while your home is completed and also making lots of decisions in a short period of time.

It’s vital that you build a team that you can trust and rely on. At Studio Officina, we assist you in finding contractors that are trustworthy and experienced. We also maintain regular contact with them during the construction process to ensure they stay on track with the overall construction schedule and budget. We meet regularly on site and help flag pitfalls or potential issues before they begin to show up.

Having been through many construction projects before, we are well placed to anticipate issues before they arise and can in turn help provide an overall experience that is enjoyable and fun, despite some of the stress it will inevitably bring.

Initially, we will measure the affected space or site to establish the true dimensions. We simultaneously provide a client questionnaire that helps us get a clear idea of your needs for your new space. We also meet together before any design work begins, to talk through what you are looking for in person and to also hear about things you’ve seen and been inspired by that may inform the project.

We then begin to generate initial plans and sketches to help you begin to understand what’s possible. We will meet early on with you to review these together. As the project design develops, we will continue to meet regularly to show you more plans, sketches, computer renderings and 3D built models as needed.

When we have plans agreed upon and in place, we then begin to review finishes and materials together. We will show you a range of materials that we will feel will work for your design and budget. We also like to hear from you regarding the kind of finishes you are interested in using to ensure that the palette matches your own sensibility and taste.

Part of the architect’s role is to act as the client’s representative in dealings with the contractor. This means that the architect is always looking out for the client’s best interests. Most homeowners have not done renovation work before and are therefore not as well-equipped to negotiate with a contractor for the best possible pricing or quality. This is where the architect’s expertise becomes very helpful.

In a traditional architect / client / contractor scenario, the client signs separate agreements with the architect and the contractor. With a design / build arrangement, the client signs just one contract with the design / build firm. Sometimes this can help the process feel more streamlined, like a kind of “one-stop shopping”. But clients should be aware that there are some key pitfalls that can occur with a design / build company.

Most importantly, when you work with a design / build company you will be obliged to use their own in-house designer. This designer is less able to advocate for your best interests as their own profit margin is tied directly to the contractor’s. This is something very important to keep in mind when choosing between working with an architect versus a design / build company as it may mean that design solutions that get proposed are not actually the most cost-effective from the owner’s perspective. It also eliminates the client’s ability to obtain a variety of competitive bids from different sources. This in turns makes cost negotiations much harder.

With a design / build scenario, the designer involved is also much less able to provide a frank and unbiased opinion of construction issues to the client. This is because they are contractually teamed with the contractor. This means that the client doesn’t have an ally when issues arise on site that they may need a better technical understanding of in order to know how to proceed. The client can therefore have trouble obtaining a “second opinion” on a construction issue and will have to defer to the contractor’s advice whether or not they feel comfortable doing so. In a traditional architect / client / contractor scenario, the architect provides an expert knowledge of construction methods that the client can rely on when reviewing advice and questions from the contractor.

Yes, and we would be more than happy to put you in direct contact with current and past clients whom we have worked with so you can get a better idea of how we like to help our clients.

We’ve also included some of their feedback as quotes throughout our website to give you an idea of how the design and construction process works. Please see the pages below:

Crown Heights Townhouse
Stuyvesant Heights Apartment
Flatbush Limestone

Yes, and Studio Officina places this aim at the core of what we do. By working with natural light and passive ventilation we aim to harness the best of what each site has to offer. We also select materials and finishes carefully ensuring that we are making responsible decisions regarding our planet’s resources.

We seek to design and build spaces that are intended to last and that will be easily maintained for future generations to also use and enjoy. And we are always excited to discuss and work with concepts such as passive house design and LEED certification.

1. Feasibility & Understanding the Client Brief
During this phase we review what you are hoping to achieve, your budget and the site itself in order to understand together what is possible;
2. Schematic Design
We carefully measure the site and then present initial drawings showing possible schematic layouts and approaches that will meet what you are looking for;
3. Design Development
Based on your feedback, we develop the design further in order to flesh out key elements such as materials, details, coordination with structural elements, and so forth. We may use drawings, 3D images or physical models at this stage to help clarify the design. We will also look at physical material samples together to assist with the selection of finishes.
Any required consultants will be brought on at this stage (eg. structural engineer) and we will begin to prepare any necessary drawings for permit applications;
4. Construction Documentation, Permit Applications & Bidding
Drawings are further developed in order to file for any necessary approvals by the City or local government. Construction & bid drawings are prepared and then issued to qualified contractors for competitive pricing;
6. Bid Negotiations
Once bids from vetted contractors are received, we begin to review their pricing with you. At this point, we may adjust the scope of the project in order to make sure your budget is met. We also meet with each contractor to discuss their pricing in detail and to determine what might be missing, incorrectly priced or if there is room for negotiation;
6. Construction Administration
After a contractor is selected and any required approvals are granted by the City, we move forward with construction. During this period we will meet weekly on site with the contractor and client to review progress, address any unforeseen issues and ensure that the project stays on track in terms of budget and schedule. We follow the construction process closely to make sure that it aligns with the design drawings and to check the quality of the built work. We also review payment requests from the contractor to verify that they accurately match the amount of work that has been achieved on site;
7. Project Handover
Once construction is complete, you can move in and enjoy the new space. Our office obtains close out the permit paperwork with the City or local government to ensure that it is fully signed-off.

Our fee varies according to the size and complexity of the project, and whether or not a permit will be required. In order to provide a cost for our services we will need to learn more about the nature of your project during an initial consultation either over the phone or in person. We would be happy to speak to you to learn more about what you are hoping to do and will then provide a cost estimate for our role in the project.

We also offer two one-off design workshops for new home buyers or for homeowners hoping to gain design help with a kitchen or bathroom renovation. We call these our Home Coach services and they can be found on these pages of our website:

Home Buyer’s 1-to-1 workshop
Bathroom or kitchen 1-to-1 design workshop

Each construction project is unique so unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question.

However, given our extensive experience in the construction industry, we are able to help you gain a reliable understanding of how much you will probably need to spend in order to achieve your construction aims. We can then work with you to determine what would be a reasonable budget to hold and what would be key elements to add or eliminate in order to help meet it.

Accurate pricing will then be obtained during the competitive bid process. The scope of the project can then be adjusted as needed in order to make sure that we stay within your target cost.

We believe that good design should be available to all, no matter the brief or budget. It does not need to rely on expensive finishes or fixtures. We will work hard to ensure that your budget is well-managed and that the final design outcome provides you with a space that you truly delight in.

Congratulations on making this exciting decision.

In many cases (particularly in NYC) a licensed architect is required in order to secure necessary building permits and sign Department of Building application forms. However, many people choose to hire an architect even when not strictly required, as an architect can help to optimize the design and space, speed the process of renovation and construction and keep down costs.

An architect is a trained and licensed building professional who offers invaluable expertise and guidance throughout the renovation or new construction process. They will help you layout and plan your construction project, assisting you in understanding what is legally and spatially possible. They will propose ideas you may not have realized were possible for your property, and will also assist you in selecting a palette of finishes that complements the overall design.

An architect also assists with cost control and can offer suggestions and ideas to help you meet your budget. During construction, they will act as your representative in dealings with the general contractor, ensuring that the design is built per your expectations and to code. Via regular site meetings with the client and the general contractor, the architect helps to keep the schedule on track. The architect also maintains a close eye on the project as it gets built in order to ensure that it is well constructed and that costs don’t escalate above the client’s budget.

In New York City, you will also most likely need a licensed architect or engineer to file for Department of Building permit approvals on your behalf. If you are only doing minor work that is mostly cosmetic and doesn’t involve moving any structural walls, relocating or adding plumbing or gas fixtures or changing the occupancy of the building, then you may not need a DOB permit to undertake renovation work. If you are adding a bathroom, taking down a structural wall to open up a living and dining room or adding a deck, then you will definitely need approval from the City.

For a full understanding of what sorts of work do and don’t require a DOB or Landmarks permit in New York City, please feel free to reach out to us via phone or email to understand what’s required for your project in further detail.

You may also visit the City’s websites listed below to gain a better understanding of what types of work need a permit:

NYC Buildings Home Owner Permit 
NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Permit Types

The short answer is: as early on in the project as possible. It’s also helpful to reach out to an architect to get an initial idea of construction and permit costs before you feel you are completely ready to begin the design process. This way you can have a better idea of what a realistic budget and timeframe is for your project and can begin to plan accordingly.

It’s also great to get input and feedback from general contractors early on in the planning phase, but they are not equipped to understand your design needs the same way an architect is. They are also not always up-to-date with what the DOB will require in terms of the filing process. Architects have a wealth of expertise that spans design, approvals, budgeting and construction methods that is generally unrivalled by other building professionals.

 

Contrary to what you may have heard, architects can actually help to keep the overall costs of a project down. Due to their knowledge of construction methods, sources for affordable finishes and efficient ways to design, an architect will work with you to help you meet your construction budget. They also act on your behalf when negotiating with bidding contractors, checking their bid documents carefully to ensure they have not overlooked an element that needs to be included or questioning costs that seem unnecessarily high.

At Studio Officina, we also strive to produce pricing and construction drawings that are a thorough and detailed reflection of what needs to be built. This way, the bidding contractors are able to provide pricing documents that are a realistic and accurate representation of the cost to undertake your renovation. This is a key way to avoid change orders during construction as it helps to avoid surprises or disappointments on site once the project gets underway.

Renovating and building can be stressful, even if you have done it before. It involves significant expenditure, possibly relocating while your home is completed and also making lots of decisions in a short period of time.

It’s vital that you build a team that you can trust and rely on. At Studio Officina, we assist you in finding contractors that are trustworthy and experienced. We also maintain regular contact with them during the construction process to ensure they stay on track with the overall construction schedule and budget. We meet regularly on site and help flag pitfalls or potential issues before they begin to show up.

Having been through many construction projects before, we are well placed to anticipate issues before they arise and can in turn help provide an overall experience that is enjoyable and fun, despite some of the stress it will inevitably bring.

Initially, we will measure the affected space or site to establish the true dimensions. We simultaneously provide a client questionnaire that helps us get a clear idea of your needs for your new space. We also meet together before any design work begins, to talk through what you are looking for in person and to also hear about things you’ve seen and been inspired by that may inform the project.

We then begin to generate initial plans and sketches to help you begin to understand what’s possible. We will meet early on with you to review these together. As the project design develops, we will continue to meet regularly to show you more plans, sketches, computer renderings and 3D built models as needed.

When we have plans agreed upon and in place, we then begin to review finishes and materials together. We will show you a range of materials that we will feel will work for your design and budget. We also like to hear from you regarding the kind of finishes you are interested in using to ensure that the palette matches your own sensibility and taste.

Part of the architect’s role is to act as the client’s representative in dealings with the contractor. This means that the architect is always looking out for the client’s best interests. Most homeowners have not done renovation work before and are therefore not as well-equipped to negotiate with a contractor for the best possible pricing or quality. This is where the architect’s expertise becomes very helpful.

In a traditional architect / client / contractor scenario, the client signs separate agreements with the architect and the contractor. With a design / build arrangement, the client signs just one contract with the design / build firm. Sometimes this can help the process feel more streamlined, like a kind of “one-stop shopping”. But clients should be aware that there are some key pitfalls that can occur with a design / build company.

Most importantly, when you work with a design / build company you will be obliged to use their own in-house designer. This designer is less able to advocate for your best interests as their own profit margin is tied directly to the contractor’s. This is something very important to keep in mind when choosing between working with an architect versus a design / build company as it may mean that design solutions that get proposed are not actually the most cost-effective from the owner’s perspective. It also eliminates the client’s ability to obtain a variety of competitive bids from different sources. This in turns makes cost negotiations much harder.

With a design / build scenario, the designer involved is also much less able to provide a frank and unbiased opinion of construction issues to the client. This is because they are contractually teamed with the contractor. This means that the client doesn’t have an ally when issues arise on site that they may need a better technical understanding of in order to know how to proceed. The client can therefore have trouble obtaining a “second opinion” on a construction issue and will have to defer to the contractor’s advice whether or not they feel comfortable doing so. In a traditional architect / client / contractor scenario, the architect provides an expert knowledge of construction methods that the client can rely on when reviewing advice and questions from the contractor.

Yes, and we would be more than happy to put you in direct contact with current and past clients whom we have worked with so you can get a better idea of how we like to help our clients.

We’ve also included some of their feedback as quotes throughout our website to give you an idea of how the design and construction process works. Please see the pages below:

Crown Heights Townhouse
Stuyvesant Heights Apartment
Flatbush Limestone

Yes, and Studio Officina places this aim at the core of what we do. By working with natural light and passive ventilation we aim to harness the best of what each site has to offer. We also select materials and finishes carefully ensuring that we are making responsible decisions regarding our planet’s resources.

We seek to design and build spaces that are intended to last and that will be easily maintained for future generations to also use and enjoy. And we are always excited to discuss and work with concepts such as passive house design and LEED certification.

1. Feasibility & Understanding the Client Brief
During this phase we review what you are hoping to achieve, your budget and the site itself in order to understand together what is possible;
2. Schematic Design
We carefully measure the site and then present initial drawings showing possible schematic layouts and approaches that will meet what you are looking for;
3. Design Development
Based on your feedback, we develop the design further in order to flesh out key elements such as materials, details, coordination with structural elements, and so forth. We may use drawings, 3D images or physical models at this stage to help clarify the design. We will also look at physical material samples together to assist with the selection of finishes.
Any required consultants will be brought on at this stage (eg. structural engineer) and we will begin to prepare any necessary drawings for permit applications;
4. Construction Documentation, Permit Applications & Bidding
Drawings are further developed in order to file for any necessary approvals by the City or local government. Construction & bid drawings are prepared and then issued to qualified contractors for competitive pricing;
6. Bid Negotiations
Once bids from vetted contractors are received, we begin to review their pricing with you. At this point, we may adjust the scope of the project in order to make sure your budget is met. We also meet with each contractor to discuss their pricing in detail and to determine what might be missing, incorrectly priced or if there is room for negotiation;
6. Construction Administration
After a contractor is selected and any required approvals are granted by the City, we move forward with construction. During this period we will meet weekly on site with the contractor and client to review progress, address any unforeseen issues and ensure that the project stays on track in terms of budget and schedule. We follow the construction process closely to make sure that it aligns with the design drawings and to check the quality of the built work. We also review payment requests from the contractor to verify that they accurately match the amount of work that has been achieved on site;
7. Project Handover
Once construction is complete, you can move in and enjoy the new space. Our office obtains close out the permit paperwork with the City or local government to ensure that it is fully signed-off.

Our fee varies according to the size and complexity of the project, and whether or not a permit will be required. In order to provide a cost for our services we will need to learn more about the nature of your project during an initial consultation either over the phone or in person. We would be happy to speak to you to learn more about what you are hoping to do and will then provide a cost estimate for our role in the project.

We also offer two one-off design workshops for new home buyers or for homeowners hoping to gain design help with a kitchen or bathroom renovation. We call these our Home Coach services and they can be found on these pages of our website:

Home Buyer’s 1-to-1 workshop
Bathroom or kitchen 1-to-1 design workshop

Each construction project is unique so unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question.

However, given our extensive experience in the construction industry, we are able to help you gain a reliable understanding of how much you will probably need to spend in order to achieve your construction aims. We can then work with you to determine what would be a reasonable budget to hold and what would be key elements to add or eliminate in order to help meet it.

Accurate pricing will then be obtained during the competitive bid process. The scope of the project can then be adjusted as needed in order to make sure that we stay within your target cost.

We believe that good design should be available to all, no matter the brief or budget. It does not need to rely on expensive finishes or fixtures. We will work hard to ensure that your budget is well-managed and that the final design outcome provides you with a space that you truly delight in.

Studio Officina Architecture PLLC

studio@studioofficina.com

196 MacDonough Street

Brooklyn NY 11216

We are a small, friendly Brooklyn-based architecture and design studio. We are dedicated to working closely with our clients to create buildings and spaces that
are a joyful and honest reflection of who they are and how they live and work.

We believe that high-quality spatial design should be available to all,
no matter the budget or brief. And we place sustainability at the core of what we do, as we seek to use nature’s resources carefully and efficiently.

icona_footer1

Studio Officina Architecture PLLC

studio@studioofficina.com

196 MacDonough Street

Brooklyn NY 11216

We are a small, friendly Brooklyn-based architecture and design studio. We are dedicated to working closely with our clients to create buildings and spaces that
are a joyful and honest reflection of who they are and how they live and work.

We believe that high-quality spatial design should be available to all,
no matter the budget or brief. And we place sustainability at the core of what we do, as we seek to use nature’s resources carefully and efficiently.

icona_footer1

Congratulations on making this exciting decision.

In many cases (particularly in NYC) a licensed architect is required in order to secure necessary building permits and sign Department of Building application forms. However, many people choose to hire an architect even when not strictly required, as an architect can help to optimize the design and space, speed the process of renovation and construction and keep down costs.

An architect is a trained and licensed building professional who offers invaluable expertise and guidance throughout the renovation or new construction process. They will help you layout and plan your construction project, assisting you in understanding what is legally and spatially possible. They will propose ideas you may not have realized were possible for your property, and will also assist you in selecting a palette of finishes that complements the overall design.

An architect also assists with cost control and can offer suggestions and ideas to help you meet your budget. During construction, they will act as your representative in dealings with the general contractor, ensuring that the design is built per your expectations and to code. Via regular site meetings with the client and the general contractor, the architect helps to keep the schedule on track. The architect also maintains a close eye on the project as it gets built in order to ensure that it is well constructed and that costs don’t escalate above the client’s budget.

In New York City, you will also most likely need a licensed architect or engineer to file for Department of Building permit approvals on your behalf. If you are only doing minor work that is mostly cosmetic and doesn’t involve moving any structural walls, relocating or adding plumbing or gas fixtures or changing the occupancy of the building, then you may not need a DOB permit to undertake renovation work. If you are adding a bathroom, taking down a structural wall to open up a living and dining room or adding a deck, then you will definitely need approval from the City.

For a full understanding of what sorts of work do and don’t require a DOB or Landmarks permit in New York City, please feel free to reach out to us via phone or email to understand what’s required for your project in further detail.

You may also visit the City’s websites listed below to gain a better understanding of what types of work need a permit:

NYC Buildings Home Owner Permit 

NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Permit Types

The short answer is: as early on in the project as possible. It’s also helpful to reach out to an architect to get an initial idea of construction and permit costs before you feel you are completely ready to begin the design process. This way you can have a better idea of what a realistic budget and timeframe is for your project and can begin to plan accordingly.

It’s also great to get input and feedback from general contractors early on in the planning phase, but they are not equipped to understand your design needs the same way an architect is. They are also not always up-to-date with what the DOB will require in terms of the filing process. Architects have a wealth of expertise that spans design, approvals, budgeting and construction methods that is generally unrivalled by other building professionals.

Contrary to what you may have heard, architects can actually help to keep the overall costs of a project down. Due to their knowledge of construction methods, sources for affordable finishes and efficient ways to design, an architect will work with you to help you meet your construction budget. They also act on your behalf when negotiating with bidding contractors, checking their bid documents carefully to ensure they have not overlooked an element that needs to be included or questioning costs that seem unnecessarily high.

At Studio Officina, we also strive to produce pricing and construction drawings that are a thorough and detailed reflection of what needs to be built. This way, the bidding contractors are able to provide pricing documents that are a realistic and accurate representation of the cost to undertake your renovation. This is a key way to avoid change orders during construction as it helps to avoid surprises or disappointments on site once the project gets underway.

Renovating and building can be stressful, even if you have done it before. It involves significant expenditure, possibly relocating while your home is completed and also making lots of decisions in a short period of time.

It’s vital that you build a team that you can trust and rely on. At Studio Officina, we assist you in finding contractors that are trustworthy and experienced. We also maintain regular contact with them during the construction process to ensure they stay on track with the overall construction schedule and budget. We meet regularly on site and help flag pitfalls or potential issues before they begin to show up.

Having been through many construction projects before, we are well placed to anticipate issues before they arise and can in turn help provide an overall experience that is enjoyable and fun, despite some of the stress it will inevitably bring.

Initially, we will measure the affected space or site to establish the true dimensions. We simultaneously provide a client questionnaire that helps us get a clear idea of your needs for your new space. We also meet together before any design work begins, to talk through what you are looking for in person and to also hear about things you’ve seen and been inspired by that may inform the project.

We then begin to generate initial plans and sketches to help you begin to understand what’s possible. We will meet early on with you to review these together. As the project design develops, we will continue to meet regularly to show you more plans, sketches, computer renderings and 3D built models as needed.

When we have plans agreed upon and in place, we then begin to review finishes and materials together. We will show you a range of materials that we will feel will work for your design and budget. We also like to hear from you regarding the kind of finishes you are interested in using to ensure that the palette matches your own sensibility and taste.

Part of the architect’s role is to act as the client’s representative in dealings with the contractor. This means that the architect is always looking out for the client’s best interests. Most homeowners have not done renovation work before and are therefore not as well-equipped to negotiate with a contractor for the best possible pricing or quality. This is where the architect’s expertise becomes very helpful.

In a traditional architect / client / contractor scenario, the client signs separate agreements with the architect and the contractor. With a design / build arrangement, the client signs just one contract with the design / build firm. Sometimes this can help the process feel more streamlined, like a kind of “one-stop shopping”. But clients should be aware that there are some key pitfalls that can occur with a design / build company.

Most importantly, when you work with a design / build company you will be obliged to use their own in-house designer. This designer is less able to advocate for your best interests as their own profit margin is tied directly to the contractor’s. This is something very important to keep in mind when choosing between working with an architect versus a design / build company as it may mean that design solutions that get proposed are not actually the most cost-effective from the owner’s perspective. It also eliminates the client’s ability to obtain a variety of competitive bids from different sources. This in turns makes cost negotiations much harder.

With a design / build scenario, the designer involved is also much less able to provide a frank and unbiased opinion of construction issues to the client. This is because they are contractually teamed with the contractor. This means that the client doesn’t have an ally when issues arise on site that they may need a better technical understanding of in order to know how to proceed. The client can therefore have trouble obtaining a “second opinion” on a construction issue and will have to defer to the contractor’s advice whether or not they feel comfortable doing so. In a traditional architect / client / contractor scenario, the architect provides an expert knowledge of construction methods that the client can rely on when reviewing advice and questions from the contractor.

Yes, and we would be more than happy to put you in direct contact with current and past clients whom we have worked with so you can get a better idea of how we like to help our clients.

We’ve also included some of their feedback as quotes throughout our website to give you an idea of how the design and construction process works. Please see the pages below:

Crown Heights Townhouse

Stuyvesant Heights Apartment

 

Yes, and Studio Officina places this aim at the core of what we do. By working with natural light and passive ventilation we aim to harness the best of what each site has to offer. We also select materials and finishes carefully ensuring that we are making responsible decisions regarding our planet’s resources.

We seek to design and build spaces that are intended to last and that will be easily maintained for future generations to also use and enjoy. And we are always excited to discuss and work with concepts such as passive house design and LEED certification.

1. Feasibility & Understanding the Client Brief
During this phase we review what you are hoping to achieve, your budget and the site itself in order to understand together what is possible;
2. Schematic Design
We carefully measure the site and then present initial drawings showing possible schematic layouts and approaches that will meet what you are looking for;
3. Design Development
Based on your feedback, we develop the design further in order to flesh out key elements such as materials, details, coordination with structural elements, and so forth. We may use drawings, 3D images or physical models at this stage to help clarify the design. We will also look at physical material samples together to assist with the selection of finishes.
Any required consultants will be brought on at this stage (eg. structural engineer) and we will begin to prepare any necessary drawings for permit applications;
4. Construction Documentation, Permit Applications & Bidding
Drawings are further developed in order to file for any necessary approvals by the City or local government. Construction & bid drawings are prepared and then issued to qualified contractors for competitive pricing;
6. Bid Negotiations
Once bids from vetted contractors are received, we begin to review their pricing with you. At this point, we may adjust the scope of the project in order to make sure your budget is met. We also meet with each contractor to discuss their pricing in detail and to determine what might be missing, incorrectly priced or if there is room for negotiation;
6. Construction Administration
After a contractor is selected and any required approvals are granted by the City, we move forward with construction. During this period we will meet weekly on site with the contractor and client to review progress, address any unforeseen issues and ensure that the project stays on track in terms of budget and schedule. We follow the construction process closely to make sure that it aligns with the design drawings and to check the quality of the built work. We also review payment requests from the contractor to verify that they accurately match the amount of work that has been achieved on site;
7. Project Handover
Once construction is complete, you can move in and enjoy the new space. Our office obtains closes out the permit paperwork with the City or local government to ensure that it is fully signed-off.

Our fee varies according to the size and complexity of the project, and whether or not a permit will be required. In order to provide a cost for our services we will need to learn more about the nature of your project during an initial consultation either over the phone or in person. We would be happy to speak to you to learn more about what you are hoping to do and will then provide a cost estimate for our role in the project.

We also offer two one-off design workshops for new home buyers or for homeowners hoping to gain design help with a kitchen or bathroom renovation. We call these our Home Coach services and they can be found on these pages of our website:

Home Buyer’s 1-to-1 workshop

Bathroom or kitchen 1-to-1 design workshop

Each construction project is unique so unfortunately there is no simple answer to this question.

However, given our extensive experience in the construction industry, we are able to help you gain a reliable understanding of how much you will probably need to spend in order to achieve your construction aims. We can then work with you to determine what would be a reasonable budget to hold and what would be key elements to add or eliminate in order to help meet it.

Accurate pricing will then be obtained during the competitive bid process. The scope of the project can then be adjusted as needed in order to make sure that we stay within your target cost.

We believe that good design should be available to all, no matter the brief or budget. It does not need to rely on expensive finishes or fixtures. We will work hard to ensure that your budget is well-managed and that the final design outcome provides you with a space that you truly delight in.

Studio Officina Architecture PLLC

studio@studioofficina.com

We are a small, friendly Brooklyn-based architecture and design studio. We are dedicated to working closely with our clients to create buildings and spaces that are a joyful and honest reflection of who they are and how they live and work.

We believe that high-quality spatial design should be available to all, no matter the budget or brief. And we place sustainability at the core of what we do, as we seek to use nature’s resources carefully and efficiently.

196 MacDonough Street

Brooklyn NY 11216