Initial Consultation

The first step in beginning your project is to meet with an architect. This will help define your goals, and introduce you to the services an architect can provide.

Jay will meet at your convenience to discuss your project and the firm's services. There is no charge for the initial consultation. Meeting times are available on most weekdays, and Saturday appointments are available as well. Typically the initial meeting can be held right at your home, where the site and building conditions can be discussed and looked at first hand.

There are several topics that will be addressed during the initial consultation: Project scope - This is the most important part of the consultation, where you and Jay will discuss what you would like your project to be. This includes the program (the rooms, spaces, and ideas you would like to incorporate), the style of home you're interested in, and any other components that you would like to consider. Clients often have prepared a wish list of these ideas, or photos or magazine images of houses and styles they like, which is helpful when beginning any project.

Budget – An important aspect of planning your project is to know your approximate budget. Jay will help determine if what you want to do is feasible for your budget, or give you an idea of what your budget may be based on your project scope. If the project proceeds, more detailed cost estimates will be performed once a design is selected.

Zoning – Zoning restrictions such as allowable lot coverage, building setbacks, and flood zone requirements can have a big impact on your project. If possible, bringing a site survey to the meeting can help to determine if any such restrictions may affect your plans. A more formal zoning review will take place at the official start of your project.

Time Frame – There are several timing aspects to consider when starting any project – how soon you would like to begin, how long the design and construction drawings process will be, when you would like to begin construction, and an approximate length of construction time.

At your initial consultation, Jay will provide you with a Completed Projects List, which gives addresses for all of the new homes, renovations, and additions the firm has done. This allows you to see the firm's work in person, and may help determine the architectural style or elements you are interested in. Jay may also note a few specific examples that are similar in size, program, or style to the project you would like to do.

After the consultation, Jay will send you two copies of an Agreement Letter, along with a fee schedule and guide to services. If you are interested in hiring the firm to design your project, sign and return one copy of the agreement letter, along with a $500 retainer check. This retainer will be credited back to you on your final invoice, at the completion of the firm's work.

Thinking about a project but not quite ready to build?
If you are interested in a renovation, addition, or new home, but don't feel the time is quite right to begin construction, you can still get a head start on your project. Jay Madden Architect will work to whatever phase you feel comfortable with, whether it's just a few design sketches to see what's possible, or a full set of drawings to submit for permits when you're ready.