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To me architecture works best when it is collaborative. The client's 'job' is to define their needs,wants, and dreams. My job is to 'read' those needs, wants, and dreams to determine how they may be achieved. For single family homes, an important part of this process is often a detailed client survey.

Before putting my design pen to paper, I use the survey and client discussions to develop a total project cost estimate to see if the project can be completed within the client's budget. This includes construction costs, permit fees, surveying, soils reports, professional fees and contingencies.

The next step is usually the most exciting part of the process to clients: creating concept drawings to show what the project will look like. Once we've agreed on a concept that works within the budget, then my job as an architect is to refine the design, then to create detailed construction drawings used first for permitting, then used by the contractor for project construction. I then oversee the construction to resolve issues, and answer contractor and client questions.

Throughout, it is important to me to have a good working relationship with the clients and contractor. The only thing better than a beautiful finished product is a beautiful product that was the result of an enjoyable and collaborative experience for all.

William G. Behun
California Licensed Architec
Rensselar Polytechnic Institute (RPI), 1974


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