1. What services are typically provided by Alicia Ravetto Architect when designing a new residence or a renovation project?
Predesign (Defining the scope of work)
- Identify both the opportunities and constraints of the site/existing house
- Listen to the Owners’ ideas and expectations of their project
- Prepare a “program” for the house/site that describes desired types and sizes of rooms as well as the preferred relationships between individual rooms and the outdoors
- Develop a preliminary project budget
Schematic Design (Developing the Concept)
- Prepare initial design “schemes” or concepts via drawings and/or 3D models
- Refine the design until the Owners approve a design concept
- Update the budget
Design Development (Refining the Design)
- Refine the approved schematic design until a final design is approved
- Add detail and materiality to the approved design
- Update the budget
- Prepare detailed Drawings and Specifications that describe the project and are referenced in the contract between the Owner and Contractor for the construction of the house.
Hiring the Contractor
- Assist the Owner in selecting the Contractor and negotiating a construction contract through a negotiation process or facilitate a bidding process.
Construction Contract Administration
- Oversee the construction work for conformance to Construction Documents, on an as needed basis
2. Do all residences include all of the services noted above?
Most do; however, I can adjust my services (and fees) to an Owner’s particular requirements.
3. Who is on the “team” when designing and building a home with Alicia Ravetto Architect?
The Owners and the Architect. Other design professionals such as a structural or civil engineer, interior designer, or a landscape architect are often involved in creating a new or renovation project but this will happen only after the Owner approves it.
4. How are your fees determined?
My fees are negotiated according to my role and level of service. I can structure the fee as a fixed amount, percentage of construction cost, or hourly rates – based on Owner’s needs. The house’s size, location, level of finish and other design factors affect the fees.
Energy efficiency can be a major enabler of renewable energy. Efficiency reduces electricity loads, allowing a renewable energy system to be downsized, which results in a more favorable business case for the renewable system.
A project that bundles renewable energy with efficiency upgrades offers a far more powerful investment case than one that proposes renewables alone.
Before you invest in a renewable energy system for your house, business or institution, make sure you get an energy audit and follow the recommendations that will improve energy efficiency first.
In a new home or remodeling understand first the solar orientation or the lot and maximize the southern exposure – making sure to size windows properly and add thermal mass if needed as well as providing effective shading in the summer using overhangs or vegetation.
This important first step will allow you to incorporate daylighting and any level of renewable energy use in the life of the building at no additional cost. It is a design decision!
The design process takes about 6-12 months and it depends a lot on you, on how quickly you can make decision, how often you can meet or review plans and also on the complexity of the project.
Although it is exciting to break ground and see your home start being built it will take less time and cost less money if you take the time to plan as much as you can. Changes on paper are less expensive than changes when construction is underway.
Construction time will depend on the extent of the work and it is important to try to be realistic throughout the project.
There are lots of things that can speed it up and slow it down. It is important to get it right since you are making a huge investment in time, money and in yourselves.
Building a new home begins long before the foundation is poured. To avoid costly mistakes during the construction process, start with these five important steps.
- Define your Budget
Start by thinking about how much you can afford to spend and how much building your new home is likely to cost. Chances are you will need a construction loan and a mortgage. It’s not too early to find out what size loan you qualify for. Also, knowing the approximate costs will help you modify your building plans to meet your budget.
2. Choose Your Lot
You will need to choose the land before you select floor plans or other details. You will need to investigate factors such as soil condition, drainage, zoning and building codes in the region.
3. Line Up Your Team
You’ll need a team of experts to design and construct your house. Key players will include an architect, a builder and a surveyor. Many homeowners begin by selecting the builder or contractor. The contractor then selects other members of the team. However, you may also opt to hire an architect or designer first.
4. Pick a Plan
Many new homes are built using stock plans from a catalog. The builder or a home designer may make minor modifications in room size, window style or other details. A custom-designed home, on the other hand, is created specifically for the family which will live there. In most cases, custom-designed homes require the services of a licensed architect. Whether you opt for a stock or a custom design, you will be wise to choose a plan that will meet your needs for many years to come.
5. Negotiate a Contract
Be sure to get a written contract which has been signed and dated by the the architect or designer and later on by the builder or contractor. A contract for new home construction will describe the project in detail and include a listing of all the parts to be included in the house. Remember to amend the contract if you or your team make any changes to the project later on.
Recently I heard this term from a friend who works from home: “nomadic meetings” that move around different places but occur on a regular basis. I now have adopted the term as a way to describe where I work.
By nature, architects are nomads. I am taking this seriously: my office is where the meetings happen, where I design and create (being a physical space or the outdoors, or going from place to place). These days I think different about the workplace with more flexibility, openness and collaboration in mind.
What makes Carolina Country Builders and Alicia Ravetto Architect different from other Green builders and architects?
Both businesses have a unique longevity in the field, broad design and construction experience, technical background, and a history of solar/green activism and education. The differentiating strenghts of our team are: good communication, process facilitation, collaboration and above all listening to the clients needs and expectations.
In the words of past clients:
“it’s so amazing to dream about & then work on a project like the creation of a home & to be so thoroughly thrilled with the outcome. It was certainly an awesome experience for us. But a huge amount of the credit also goes to the designer & builder — without Paul & Alicia, the dream would’ve still been a dream – not a reality. What a great team!” Jan Dunn
“As artists, we wanted a high level of craftsmanship in the execution of our architectural plans, with sensitivity to the smallest details. We were eager to use environmentally sound and energy saving methods throughout, but we needed advice from an acknowledged expert.” Diane Pettus
If you are just beginning your career in green building, the LEED Green Associate Accreditation is for you! GreenAssociate is the introductory-level credential for LEED. I will be teaching this course and this will allow you to sit for the LEED GA Exam.
Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 6 PM to 9:00PM
May 21, May 23, June 4 and June 6 at the Pittsboro Main Campus.
Course # 2766
Triangle 2013 Green Home Tour again this weekend April 20-21 Noon-5 PM.
Are you or someone you know thinking about a new green home, renovation, or addition? You will be able to ask Paul Konove and Alicia Ravetto questions about features included in this home or about other green materials and practices you are considering.
This home is nearly complete and is slated to receive a silver certification by the National Association of Home Builders’ National Green Building Standard.
The home is located in Redbud Subdivision at the end of Sugar Lake Road off Mt Gilead Church Road (connecting road between 15-501 just south of Fearrington Village and Hwy. 64 just west of Jordan Lake). Follow the directional signs to the house.
We look forward to seeing you there.
People often ask which they should select first-the site or the house plan. The answer is always the site. You will want to make sure that your house design is suitable for your site; oriented to take advantage of views, vegetation, and sunlight; and tailored to the contours of the land.
A significant segment of the home-buying public wants the level of quality and craft that architectural drawings afford but doesn’t want to invest either the time or the money required for a custom design.
People need a new way to select a house design, based on images of the interior as well as the exterior and with ample description of the three-dimensional character of the spaces within. I have a number of house plans available with this goal in mind. What distinguishes them from those you would normally buy from a plan book is the level of detail included and the overall quality of the design.
Here is the floor plan of my house that can be tailored to your needs and you can also visit this or other houses I designed in the Triangle region of NC.
It’s time for a different kind of house. A house that is more than square footage: a house that is Not So Big, where each room is used every day. The Not So Big House isn’t just a small house. Rather, it’s a smaller house, filled with special details and designed to accommodate the lifestyles of its occupants.
I am listed in the Home Professionals Directory is comprised of those who embrace the Not So Big philosophy. http://www.notsobighouse.com/directory.asp
Not So Big Remodeling: Tailoring Your Home for the Way You Really Live
Not So Big Remodeling shows you how to apply the Not So Big principles to your existing house, allowing you to discover that you don’t have to build new to create a home that fits the way you really live.
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