Category Archives: Ask an Architect

Skipping architectural design can be penny-wise, pound foolish

“I already have a design, I just need the plans drawn up.”  This is a statement that makes architects cringe.  In some cases, it will cause the architect to turn down your project.  What someone thinks is a “design” could … Continue reading

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Residential Design: Include your pets in your plans

We consider the needs of children, possibly aging parents/in-laws, and our client’s tastes and desires when designing or remodeling homes.  But what about the furry family members?  Pets are a big part of our lives and making homes comfortable, secure … Continue reading

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Sharing the business of architecture with high school students

Last week I had the opportunity to speak to students at Burlingame High School who are taking beginning and advanced architecture classes.  They have a nice design studio with up-to-date computers and design software.  Their teacher has an architectural degree … Continue reading

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Accessory Dwelling Units: Why you may need a property survey

Many homeowners are considering adding an accessory dwelling unit to their property.  ADU’s, (also known as Secondary Dwelling Units, grandmother cottages, in-law units, etc.) have become popular due to a new CA state law that relaxes some of the building … Continue reading

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“Statute of limitations” on unpermitted construction and other bad advice

We keep hearing from our clients of the bad advice that they were told when buying property.  The top piece of bad advice, by far, is that if unpermitted construction occurred a long time ago, it no longer needs to … Continue reading

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Property Reassessment: How to plan for property taxes after additions or improvements

The building boom is still going strong in the Bay Area, and one question that comes up often is “What will this project cost me in increased property taxes?”  Here are some things to consider and how to get the … Continue reading

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Project Timing: Leave Room in Schedule for Consultants

By Lorianna Kastrop, Vice President, The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects   Clients often come to us ready to start a project and ask us “How soon will the drawings be ready?”  Surprisingly, the simple answer is misleading.  If we tell … Continue reading

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