The Interview Series: A House Gets New Bones

“I Cringe When I Think of Not Hiring a Great Architect”

Not going to lie: one of the best feelings in the world is touching base with a client a few months after finishing their project, after they’ve had some time to enjoy their new home.

We did just that recently with Brett Trembly (who happens to be a great business attorney if you’re in the market). We did a complete remodel of his home: moved walls around, designed a brand-new kitchen and bathroom, picked out all the fixtures, and handled the entirety of the permitting process and oversaw the entire project to minimize stress and maximize impact.

But don’t take our word for it.

Debowsky Design Group: So, how did everything go?

Brett Trembly: Honestly, I can’t imagine not hiring you for this. I didn’t understand the permitting process or how intense it was going to be. I didn’t realize the scope of the project would be so complicated. But, living in our home now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

DDG: Would you do it again?

BT: [Laughing] No. But really, the nice thing is that you did it already and we have our dream home so we don’t have to.

DDG: How long did the project take?

BT: You guys started in September of 2016. The initial design took a month, then a second month to revise and a third to get all of the permits lined up. We started taking bids from general contractors in December and moved-in with time enjoy Halloween in 2017.

DDG: What obstacles were the ones that surprised you the most?

BT: How do people do this without a good architect? My wife went out with your team weekly to pick out all the fixtures: lights, plumbing, marble slabs et cetera. I don’t know how we would have figured all of that out if we just hired a GC without bringing you on board.

And then, I think is the biggest thing no one realizes you need an architect for is construction administration. Throughout the construction process, we could count that someone from your team would be checking in on and handling the GC, holding them to the design. I can’t believe how much your team caught and remedied while things were still being built: walls put in the wrong place, flooring laid incorrectly. I’m so grateful that you were there for us during the construction phase and honestly can’t imagine what it would be like if you weren’t.

DDG: What about the design process, how did that go?

BT: I don’t know how you did it, but you did. My wife and I had two completely opposite ideas of what we wanted: she wanted an open concept and I wanted something more functional with separate rooms so we weren’t always on top of each other. In the end, we have a completely different house than the original house we purchased and everyone got what they wanted (we got the open concept and the kids bedrooms are bigger and now with closets). My wife is happy and you know what they say: happy wife, happy life.

DDG: What would you say to someone that is looking to start a project?

BT: I cringe when I think of not hiring a great architect first. The idea of hiring a contractor and relying on them to do it all without your input just sounds like a massive waste of money.

I loved working with you guys, loved the experience. I’d tell someone looking to start a project to get the location you want and bring Stuart on a walk-through before you close. You guys take it from there.

 

About Stuart Debowsky

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