This is a husband and wife studio ,unfortunately we didn’t get ‘two for the price of one’, More accurately, you get less than one for the price of over two (as they often bring an intern and charge both for two architects and one intern).
They know very well how to sell themselves, they pretend to listen (they take notes that latter on are forgotten or ignored…) they promise to help in choosing /making decisions -but they don’t , they recommend outrageously expensive items (our windows’ cost was triple compare with other very good brands).They know very well how and what to promise but they certainly don’t know how to fulfill these promises.
They planned a major renovation of an old home we bought in June 2007 which , including everything: new electrical wires, new plumbing, dry walls,new roof, new dormers, installing 4.5 bathrooms, new kitchen, finishing the basement and the attic . The architects job was: phase 1- to design and submit the drawings to the DCRA, and phase 2- to work with the contractor, follow up and supervise the process of the renovation.
We signed a fixed cost contract with them for phase 2 but they billed us by their hourly input, the moment the total fees reached the fixed cost amount agreed upon in the contract- they started to ask for more payments as if we never signed a fixed cost contract. .. when we refused to pay them -they stopped to answer emails/phone calls which means they simply walked away from the project !
Afterwards we found out that we were not the only ones that had been taken by this studio. We have spoken with 4 other homeowners that had a very similar experience with them (more details off line).
The initial drawings, which took them three months to draw , were poorly designed with very little imagination and nothing in it met our specific requests. We had to ask them, more than once, to change the design according to our requests/ideas until they actually did so. The schedule they proposed was unrealistic; 6 months vs the actual schedule that was 18 months. when we asked them to offer us items like sinks/bathtubs etc’ -their selection was very limited, repetitive and not updated -they kept offering us the same items all the time even though it didn’t match our specification. They never finished the drawings for the basement closets/cabinets neither updated the original drawings after discovering their huge mistakes.
Fairly quickly we found out they made huge mistakes of several feet (not inches…) that some of them were- luckly -caught on time by the contractor. Some other big mistakes led to further problems such as having to reorder a doors and windows or a toilet designed to be under the roof where we can’t even stand up straight . we had to add a skylight to solve the problem.
In general ,they showed a lack of professionalism ,very limited creativity, lack of responsibility ; they never admitted their huge mistakes nor apologized .