Initial Consultation

If you are talking to a number of architects, you’ll find that many of them will visit you for free, just for the opportunity to tell you how wonderful they are and why they should be hired. However, after decades of doing this, I do charge for the initial visit. I have come to believe that you should get something of significant value from this visit, and the visit should be focused on YOU, not me.  We will talk about:

  • Your goals, hopes and dreams.
  • A realistic budget for your project.
  • A realistic schedule.
  • Specific constraints that you have with your site (and I’ll do a little research with the City or County ahead of the visit).
  • Opportunities that you have to do some upgrades that you might not have considered.
  • Structural challenges that I see.
  • If you have a floor plan available, we can sketch (roughly) some options that I see.
  • How to get rough pricing early in the process.
  • How to find a contractor, if you don’t already have one in mind.
  • Possible phasing of the project, if it looks like you can’t do it all at once.
  • Other professionals you might need, like a surveyor, geotechnical engineer, civil engineer, or green building consultant.
  • Other costs you might not be aware of, such as a “school impact fee” or “design review” fees.
  • “Homework” assignments to help you get a jump on design decisions.
  • Any other burning questions on your mind.
You should budget two hours for this session. If you have a crude floor plan, that would be helpful to talk from. If you have little kids who are likely to need attention during the meeting, please arrange for a sitter. If there are multiple adults involved (such as husband/wife/significant other), then this meeting should be scheduled for a time when both can be present. Just call or e-mail me and we will find a mutually agreeable time. (No Sundays, however.) Saturdays and early evenings are possibilities.

The price for this initial consultation session is $450, and includes my travel time to and from your home. Projects further away than 30 miles from my office will incur an added travel charge of $50 for each additional ten miles, or fraction thereof.

If you decide to go ahead with the project after the consultation, $300 will be applied to the Preliminary Design Phase Fees.

I ask for payment at the time the consultation is scheduled, and to make things easy, I use PayPal. Just click the button below.

Type of session desired



NOTE: California Business & Professions Code Sec. 5536.22 requires a written contract between architects and their clients for architectural services, unless it is expressly waived by the client. Because the services you are requesting are very limited in scope and duration, we agree that proceeding with this PayPal transaction constitutes your waiver of a more extensive contract. However, if you request additional services, a written agreement will be provided.